Slide
The Heart
Of Grace Outreach
Slide
The Heart
Of Grace Outreach

MISSION

Founded in 2004, Grace Outreach serves low-income women 18 and older who seek to enhance their academic skills, pursue higher education, and find employment. We began primarily as a GED education center, but we have grown into a successful larger organization offering classes, training, and academics for the equivalency test, a college program that works with students to start and graduate from college, and a full array of career services and events. With our ongoing support, hundreds of women have earned their equivalency diplomas and moved on to higher educational goals, better career opportunities, and financial independence.

THE SOUTH BRONX

The Bronx is the poorest urban county in the United States, where food deserts are commonplace and health outcomes remain disproportionately poor. The median household income in the South Bronx is half the New York City average at less than $26,000 and only 50% of Bronx residents between the ages of 25-65 were employed before the pandemic. The Bronx was hit hard by the pandemic. We had the city’s highest rates of virus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Unemployment also soared. Manhattan’s unemployment reached 10.3% while the Bronx topped 17.5%, the highest rate in the State.

STAFF

Humaira Aktar portrait

Humaira Aktar

Program Assistant,
College Program Graduate
haktar@graceoutreachbronx.org
Zaukema Blanding speaking into mic

Zaukema Blanding

Instructor, Director of Mathematics
zaukema@graceoutreachbronx.org
Nicola Clarke portrait

Nicola Clarke

Managing Director, HSE,
and College Program graduate
nclarke@graceoutreachbronx.org

Stephanie Gomez

Admissions Coordinator
sgomez@graceoutreachbronx.org
Arlet Hamilton portrait

Arlet Hamilton

Writing Instructor, HSE
College Program Graduate
ahamilton@graceoutreachbronx.org
Danae Mcleod at podium with mic

Danae Mcleod

Executive Director
dmcleod@graceoutreachbronx.org

Shelly-Ann Muschette

Student Engagement, Administrative Coordinator
smuschette@graceoutreachbronx.org

Elizabeth Walsh

Director of Career & College Programming
ewalsh@graceoutreachbronx.org

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Elise Benkard – Co-Chair 
Founder, Penelope’s Stories

Margaret M. Grace – Co-Chair 

Attorney 

 

Kaitlyn Buckley – Founder and Teacher, TLC Tutoring

Adam Colon – Corporate Counsel, Google

Donnette Dunbar – CEO, Dash Media PR

John Hughes – Treasurer, Vice President, Goldman Sachs

Marie Konstance – Nonprofit Consultant 

Kim Mustin – Senior Managing Director, Bernstein Private Wealth Management 

Dr. Julie Padilla, Ed. D. – Assistant Principal, REACS 

 Andrew Passeri – Managing Director, HSBC 

Stephanie Whittier – Executive Director, Private Management, Morgan Stanley

A LETTER FROM
THE BOARD CO-CHAIRS

Welcome to Grace Outreach. We believe that education is a right, not a privilege. That’s why we’re here: to empower women like you to exercise your right to continue your education and move towards financial independence. By deciding to continue your education, you are investing in your future. Our program is all about women helping women help themselves and designed to ensure your success by providing individualized support each step along the way. Here you learn from each other – without any outside distractions – and leave with the tools and self confidence that translate to your children, family, and community. Throughout this website, you’ll learn about the program and its leadership: our dedicated Board of Directors; our talented and immensely committed teaching staff, and our student tutors – all Grace Outreach graduates – with a first-hand understanding of where you’re coming from. Since 2004, Grace Outreach has helped over 1,000 women like you attain their GED/high school equivalency diploma. But the diploma is just the beginning. That’s why Grace Outreach also provides College and Career Programs to help you move forward. It’s not always easy trying something new, but we promise you, everyone here is dedicated to making sure you achieve your goals. We look forward to seeing you and working alongside you.

All the best, Margaret Grace & Elise Benkard, Board Co-Chairs

FUNDERS

Corron Foundation

Grace Institute Foundation

Santa Maria

Sarita Kenedy East

Hamond Family Foundation

The Clark Foundation