GracePortfolioImage1I have been spending more and more time with the incredible women of Grace
Institute, students of a tuition-free job skills training program
specifically for unemployed women ages 18-65.  When I first heard about the
program I thought it sounded like a great idea — to support women, many of
whom are single mothers struggling to make ends meet, who have never been
given a chance to succeed.  But it wasn’t until I met the remarkable and
resilient women of Grace Institute that I saw just how transformative it is.
Grace is more than a program, it’s a family.  These women start out as
students and they leave six months later as sisters, supporting each other
every step of the way.  Grace Institute gives them both the hard skills
(Microsoft Office, keyboarding, data entry and QuickBooks) and the soft
skills (communicating with confidence, professionalism, dealing with
conflict) that are both critical  to success in today’s workforce.   They
are able to place 80% of their students in entry-level office support
positions within one year of them graduating.

I am so proud of the women of Grace Institute and hope that my recent “Food
for Thought” lecture empowered them the way they empower me.

If you are interested in donating financial resources, clothing to their
suit drive on June 5th, or your time, please visit or
email Jessica James at  And if you have four
minutes and a few tissues, you should check out this wonderful but tear
jerking film: