Founded in 2004, Grace Outreach serves low-income women of all ages 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 (now called the TASC), 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.

Undereducation in the South Bronx

The Bronx ranks 62nd out of all 62 counties in New York State in terms of educational attainment levels of its residents. Thus there is a clear need for many kinds of opportunities to re-start educational paths. Grace Outreach provides such an opportunity, for women only, in a community-based setting, in an easy-to-access location on 151st Street.

The women at Grace Outreach are diversely talented and have diverse backgrounds and attributes, including:

We recommend the following resources to learn more about the barriers which the new high school equivalency exam in New York State presents to under-educated women in the Bronx, and the broader economic challenges that the current ecomony presents to younger Bronx women in particular:

New, Tougher GED has Students Scrambling City Limits, December 2013   Unleashing the Economic Power of the 35% A policy paper prepared by JobsFirstNYC  July, 2014   http://hechingerreport.org/pass-rates-dip-and-test-takers-decrease-after-first-year-of-new-high-school-equivalency-exam/  New report showing that the number of people sitting for the high school equivalency exam in New York State in 2014, using the new TASC exam, is way down from previous years.  February, 2015



pictured l to r: Kara Murphy, Wolf Boehme, Margaret Grace & Mara Lehrman

Board of directors

  • Elise Benkard


    Founder, Penelope’s Stories

  • Margaret M. Grace



  • Paula B. Bralow



  • Kaitlyn Buckley

    Founder and Teacher, TLC Tutoring

  • Adam Colón

    Attorney, Hearst Magazines

  • Donnette Dunbar

    CEO, Dash Media PR

  • John Hughes

    Vice President, Goldman Sachs

  • Marie Konstance

    Bloomberg LP, Trade Execution and Quantitative Trading Analytics 

  • Andrew Passari

    Managing Director, HSBC

  • Stephanie Whittier

    Executive Director, Private Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley


Associate Board of Directors

  • Sam Cannon

    Analyst – Hound Partners

  • Rucha Desai

    Senior Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Advisory Consultant, Ernst & Young

  • Patrick Guerriero

    Analyst, AC Investment Management

  • Dominique Gumbs

    Research Analyst, Elliott Management

  • Janine Harwood

    Project Manager, Societe Generale

  • Tiana Hertel


  • Sung Jo

    Research Analyst, – Vice President Pine Bridge Investments

  • Madison Kiani

    Product Marketing Manager, Etsy

  • Shorya Mantry

    Investment Analyst, Starboard Value

  • Peter Savarese

    Associate, New Mountain Capital

  • Liesel Schapira

    Litigation Associate, Gibsun, Dunn, & Crutcher

  • Sean Tansley

    Sales Strategy Analyst, OnDeck

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 making an investment 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, your family and your 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 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 Prep and Career Prep services to really 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,  Ms. Margaret Grace,  &  Ms. Elise Benkard  Board Co-Chairs