From social butterfly to social justice – Winchendon School grad to continue family mission
Scott Ansin-Blanchard, a recent Winchendon School graduate, plans to continue the advocacy work that his grandfather Ronald Ansin started for the LGBTQ+ community by pursuing a career in human rights law.
His grandfather, Ronald Ansin, had a great influence on Blanchard’s decision to become a civil rights lawyer, since Ansin and Ansin-Blanchard’s mother would take him to American Civil Liberties Union conferences beginning at age 10, where his interest in advocacy work sparked. He plans to double major in psychology and start a pre-law track at Connecticut College in the fall.
Blanchard said his grandfather is a philanthropist in the town of Athol and has worked closely with the ACLU to push for LGBTQ+ equal rights.
“All through the 1960s, 70s and 80s my grandfather was in the closet so when he finally came out, he started to work with the ACLU with his partner for equal marriage,” he said. “My grandfather speaks at the conferences we go together.”
A passion sparked
When Blanchard was 11 years old, he heard Bryan Stevenson, a social justice lawyer, speak at an ACLU conference and it that pushed Blanchard to educate himself more on racism and discrimination in the United States. He said it was when he heard Stevenson’s speech he knew his passion for social justice grew stronger.
Blanchard said his parents also had a part in his decision, not only they have always supported him with everything he has done but they made sure to have difficult conversations about racism and injustice since he was a kid.
“Seeing a lot of injustices in this country and having the support from my family to make an impact has really set me up to go through with this path,” he said. “I have gone to several marches and protests in support of Black Lives Matter and gun reform in Boston.”
Kindness matters most
During his three years at the Winchendon School, Blanchard got involved with many extracurriculars. He was the parliamentarian of the National Honors Society, a member of the Committee on Mental Health, on the school’s Judicial and Academic review board, he was on the lacrosse and basketball teams, and a co-creator of the esport team.
Blanchard said he was involved with a lot of school activities probably done more than he should have but the most important thing he hopes to leave behind is positivity.
“Besides all of the boards, committees, and leadership positions I had I hope that I left a mark by just being a nice person,” he said. “By doing little things like holding the door open or making people smile, I hope that brings more positivity.”