Strategy Associate

National Team 337 274 0970 robert.fontenot@50can.org

Robert originally hails from the small town of Westlake, Louisiana. Upon graduation from high school, he moved to the charming city of Lafayette, known for its great food and Cajun influences. While attending the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Robert pursued a bachelor’s degree in political science. Before graduation, he interned for a local legislator at the state Capitol with the Future Leaders Internship Program. Upon graduation Robert became a full time legislative assistant for another Louisiana state legislator. He now serves as Team Strategy Assistant for 50CAN.

When not at work, you can find Robert in the kitchen perfecting his culinary skills. He is also an avid gardener who loves his fresh vegetables and herbs. One of the most exciting things for him since moving to the D.C. area is the opportunity to branch out and hike all the beautiful trails in the Shenandoah Valley and beyond.

I aspire to be like the future me in my mind’s eye. Here’s why:

The problem with aspiring to be like an individual is their ability to let you down. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to emulate another human being. Instead, I have a picture in my mind of the kind of man I want to be, and even though I know I’ll always fall short, it is the pursuit that makes me a better person. I’ve been told that I am my own worst critic, but I don’t often find that to be a negative thing. The standard for who I want to be is always evolving, and I intend to improve myself every day.

Why I love my job:

I love my job because I know that when I come to work that I am a small part of a much larger aim. There is a strong sense of purpose when you work with a team as dedicated and talented as the one at 50CAN.

My connection to public schools:

From elementary through high school, I was fortunate enough to attend excellent public schools that challenged me and provided a nurturing network of accomplished teachers. Throughout my college career, I worked as a tutor at a public charter school, and although the experience was overwhelmingly positive, it was here where I came face to face with the inequity in public education. I tutored many children whose school simply passed them through the system with no regard for the quality of their education. This is what drives me to do what I can to make sure all kids have the educational experience they deserve. 

What I’m bad at:

I am bad at public speaking. I’ve tried so hard to get better at it, but if I have to speak in front of complete strangers, I find myself stumbling over my own thoughts. My goal is to get through a wedding toast with no more than three “ums.”

This image represents why I work at 50CAN:

I chose a picture of the newest addition to my family, my nephew Paxton. I want him to grow up in a world where neither he nor his peers are forced into a school that provides them a substandard education. We as adults can learn from mistakes made in the past and ensure the future is better for all the kids following behind us. I know whatever I do, I want it to be something that positively impacts Paxton and all his future classmates.