My name is Sean Cheatum, I am 18, and I am an alumnus of Boston Latin School, class of 2015. I was born January 13, 1997 to my mother, Tawanna Cheatum, and my father, John Gauthier, whose last name I plan to take before finishing college. My parents have since split, giving me a wonderful step-mother Catherine Gauthier who married my father. On my dad’s side, I have two brother, Kyle and Caleb, and on my mom’s, I have Scott. Being the oldest of 4 boys, I try to be the best example I can be, so that they will have a positive role model whose shoes will be good to follow.
I went to the Beethoven Elementary School in West Roxbury where I found a love for music. I sang, danced, and played recorder and violin in school as part of an expanding music program called Making Music Matters. During my 5th grade year, I was chosen to be a Red Sox Scholar, where I had a ceremony on the field, was given part-time job opportunities, college choice aid, SAT classes, and a $10,000 scholarship based on a series of essays and interviews. I went on to the W.B. Rogers Middle School in Hyde Park where I was able to join a program called Citizen Schools, which allowed me to do a law “apprenticeship” and learn about being a lawyer at Liberty Mutual, ultimately leading to a mock trial at the Moakley Federal Court House, where I delivered an opening statement. I was then lucky enough to get into Boston Latin School where I spent a transformative 6 years.
At Boston Latin School, I joined and eventually became president of the Respect Initiative. As a member, I helped reboot our sixie orientation lesson on bullying, by making it more interactive and visually stimulating. Our mission was to give incoming members of Class VI anti-bullying classes as they entered the school so that they would be able to battle bullying at our school. As co-president, I helped plan and get a DLI grant for an annual summit that discusses alcohol and drug abuse, teen dating violence and domestic abuse, cyber safety, and stereotypes and biases. This annual summit is to make students aware of these issues through student led group discussions and presentations. The RESPECT Summit is now funded by BLS Alumnus, private investigator John “Jack” Palladino, who was moved by our work and flew from California to experience our summit before choosing to fund it.
I was also involved in arts at Latin School. I was in Sixie strings, but dropped it to join the 8th Grade Chorus where I found my love of singing. I then went on to join Boston Latin School Pizazz, the schools show choir of which I was a section leader and dance captain my last year at Latin. I was in a few plays, starting with Hairspray, in which I played Seaweed. The part of the arts wing that I hold most dear to me was my time as a member of the Wolftones. As the male a Capella group at Latin School, we performed at school and outside. In my first year, we were able to get second place in a statewide competition that allowed us to record two songs as a group in a professional studio. My second and third year, I was able to serve as co-president of the group with Nathan Hermida, ’15. Our senior year, Nathan went on The Voice, and I had to hold down the fort while he was gone. With my knowledge I gained in Mr. Ryan Snyder’s Music Theory and AP Music Theory classes, I was able to arrange most of the music the group performed junior year and all of it for senior year. Outside of school I fought MMA out of a gym in Brighton and played rugby for Boston RFC.
I became interested in public service very recently. When applying to colleges this past fall, I actually applied as a business major. I was accepted into Suffolk University as a Global Business major and I had plans to work travelling the world. It wasn’t until I took Ms. Meredith Eliot’s AP American Government and Policy class senior year that I became interested in Public Service. It showed me the good that people can do through policy, and how important government is in shaping our day-to-day life. I realized that what I want more than money is to help people and to have a job that is meaningful and has tangible results. I hope to one day help make laws that will enrich the lives of the people of our commonwealth, as well as maybe our nation.