Virginia L. Grant
Ms. Grant is the Founder/CEO of GRACE and Stand for Youth™. The organization was incorporated in 2007, and the initial start-up funds were provided by Ms. Grant.
Stand for Youth ™ is a charitable, non-profit youth services organization serving middle, high school and opportunity youth. Created in response to Hurricane Katrina and the thousands of disenfranchised youth remaining in New Orleans after the storm, Stand for YouthTM was one of the first organizations in New Orleans post-Katrina, to have a 5-Year MOU with the Recovery School District. Stand for Youth ™ provides trauma-Informed and STEAM-infused academic enrichment programs aligned with state graduation requirements, evidenced-based life skills training programs, and nationally and state-recognized full-service workforce development programs that offer industry-recognized certifications, student advocacy and mentorship programs to ensure that basic needs are met. We also provide community empowerment programs via the organization’s One Dream/One Voice initiatives. Collectively these programs are referred to as From School to Life with wellness at the core. Ms. Grant is also a part of the Maryland Out of School Time’s STEMbassador Learning Community. GRACE provides the same set of services for the adult population, and was initially created to prevent a gap in services once our trainees graduated from high-school. To date, GRACE has served a broad range of adults ranging in age from 18-62.
The goal of the workforce development programs is to assist in the revitalization of
the economy and do their part to end poverty as we know it, by providing workforce development training in high demand/low supply industries, particularly in the agriculture, building & construction trades, engineering, finance, healthcare, manufacturing and technology industries. Our top priority however, is to increase high school graduation rates amongst urban youth and assist those who did not graduate in acquiring their GEDs. Our programs are implemented with fidelity by state certified administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, state licensed social workers, licensed industry professionals, subject matter experts and liked minded individuals and entites.
We perform academic and career pre-assessments to establish baselines, post-assessments and surveys to collect program performance data and engage the services of independent evaluators as a program quality assurance mechanism. Stand for Youth is a member of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE), the National After-School Association, the National Council for Social Studies, the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Science Teachers Association, the National Summer Learning Association and the National Association of Workforce Professionals. We are also a member of the College Board.
To date we have received funding from ApprenticeshipUSA, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, BB&T Bank, Baltimore City’s Office of Employment Development, EARN Maryland, The Family League, and Jobs for the Future (JFF). To find out more about us, please visit www.standforyouth.org and www.succeed-at-grace.org.
Ms. Grant has more than 20 years of Enterprise Systems Management experience and an extensive background in human capital strategy, performance management/performance metric design, and program management. Additional core competencies are in the development of innovative programs aligned with mission and strategic intent, and the assembling and development of high-performance teams. Ms. Grant has more than 20 years of professional recruiting experience.
In 1999, Ms. Grant founded Diversity Solution’s, Inc. (DSI) as an executive search and
enterprise systems management company. DSI grew to include IntelliStrat, a business unit focused on providing human capital, enterprise systems management, program management, and strategy products and services to the Federal Government and private industry. DSI was a 100% woman owned and operated small disadvantaged business. Additionally it was 8(a) and HubZone certified, and held a GSA MOBIS Schedule. DSI had Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) certifications in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia and Louisiana. From 2004 through 2009. DSI served as a PRIME Federal Contractor. Clients during this span of time included the United States Air Force, Defense Intelligence Agency, and the Undersecretary for Defense, Intelligence Directorate. Ms. Grant holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science (Pace University), a Masters Degree in Public Administration, and Bachelors Degree in Pre-Law (John Jay College of Criminal Justice).
Ms. Grant wrote the first fully funded grant (2002) for the James E. Lewis Museum of Art post-911. This grant was funded by Baltimore City Public Schools and Johns Hopkins Medicine. The grant provided inner city youth with access to a state of the art fine arts experience. Initiated at Morgan State University’s then new Carl Murphy Fine Arts Center in the Spring of 2002, this program was implemented using fine art professors, and MSDE Certified Art Teachers with MSU undergraduate art students serving as both assistants in the classroom and mentors to youth served. To date, more than 70 Baltimore area elementary, middle and high schools have participated in the James E. Lewis Year-Round-Youth Art Institute.
Ms. Grant also started the first Girls Scouts Troop in Baltimore County for teenage girls with learning disabilities, participates in college and high school job fairs regularly, and has sponsored Star Reading Programs in elementary schools. She has also participated in a broad range of other programs geared towards empowering youth and adults, serving as both Sponsor and Mentor.