Meet Social Leader Gracie Cedres, Founder of G.R.A.C.E.

March 2, 2022
4 mins read
Gracie Cedres Founder of G.R.A.C.E.
Gracie Cedres Founder of G.R.A.C.E.

Gracie Cedres, a Harlemite, is a mother, sister, fiance, daughter, and teacher. She also serves as a director, entrepreneur, and C.E.O.

She graduated from Lehman College with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Child Education.

Later, she earned her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Pennsylvania State.

She worked for “The Harlem Children’s Zone” for 15 1/2 years. There she adjusted and pivoted with each new year in education.

Her experience in nonprofit and charter school sectors allowed her to move from a Beacon afterschool program to N.Y.C. Public Schools to become a teacher’s aid sponsored by Americorp.

She transferred to the Promise Academy Charter School to complete her Americorp hours and get a college grant.

Gracie served many roles during her time at H.C.Z. These included Assistant to the Director and Teacher Assistant, Teacher Assistant, Teacher Assistant, Teacher, Youth Advocate, and Coordinator of Middle and High School Programs.

Her most recent position was as Director of (2) programs, a middle- and high-school afterschool program, and a community center.

Gracie had intended to become a principal.

However, her experience at H.C.Z. has helped her understand community development and the needs of our Black and Brown communities.

Because she is solution-oriented, she took the initiative to create a nonprofit to honor her grandmother’s work in Harlem and the Bronx. Gracie’s dream to start a nonprofit propelled her to greater heights.

The nonprofit organization aims to aid individuals and families’ economic, psychological, and physical advancements within our communities.

Incorporation is for youth, adults, and seniors. All of these people are our leaders of the present and future.

Participants will benefit from resource enrichments through collaboration and partnership with other entrepreneurs and organizations, including but not limited to “Arts, Tech, Sport, Health & Wellness, all rooted on Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy, and Entrepreneurship.

The nonprofit has hosted three annual Back to School Block Parties.

These parties provide entertainment, food, and sneaker giveaways. Back to School backpacks are filled with school supplies.

G.R.A.C.E. (Granting Resource and Community Enhancement) Incorporation will distribute food during Thanksgiving, collect new gifts and donate them to children and teens.

The events have helped approximately 300 people prepare for their return to school. G.R.A.C.E. will close in 2021.

It also plans to host a shoe and clothing drive. The nonprofit will continue to offer community programming through an app and person as it moves into 2022.

Where did the idea for G.R.A.C.E. come from?

My grandmother, the Reverend Gracie Hyman, was the inspiration for the organization.

She was a woman of God, a pastor, singer, grandmother, and wife.

She was dedicated to helping others and improving the lives of those around her.

How do you stay productive?

My typical day includes checking and responding to emails, attending workshops for professional development, participating in sessions organized by my social groups, and creating material for the nonprofit.

My day includes transporting my children from school to home, cooking, and spending quality family time.

​How do you bring ideas to life?​

Planning and organizing are crucial to bringing ideas to life. If I have an idea, it is usually presented to the Board of Directors.

To execute the vision, I work with the Director of Project Development once approved.

We may then plan. Our Communications & Public Director will connect us with sponsors and others looking to collaborate. Finally, we all coordinate all logistics.

What’s your favorite trend?

I am passionate about community development and financial education.

​What habits make you productive?

Writing out my weekly goals is one habit that helps me be more productive.

I write them down every Sunday in my planner to track what I need to accomplish in the coming week.

Before I start executing any task, I go through my list and review the lessons I have completed for that day. This allows me to modify my to-do list.

What’s your advice for the Noob?

My younger self should plan for the future and think about what I want to do.

I recommend not being afraid of trying new things and getting a mentor as soon as possible.

What is one thing we can all agree on?

This question is difficult for me because, even though the majority might not agree, it is tough to find something everyone agrees with.

​What do you recommend as an entrepreneur?

Writing down your goals is a good idea. Each year I create long- and short-term goals for myself.

I set goals for my personal, professional, and health well-being that I strive to achieve.

What’s your rich strategy?

Since the recent growth of the business has been achieved by me not being afraid to leave a job that I had held for 16 years to pursue my dreams, it is honest.

Also, I would say not to ask God for help and to pray to God to place the right people in my life to serve him.

How do you overcome Failure?

My one failure was trying to do everything by myself.

Because the nonprofit was named after my grandmother, I was concerned that people wouldn’t feel as invested in it.

I was unable to build the business faster because of this fear.

I overcame a difficult hurdle by sharing my vision with those closest to me and those who supported it.

I asked them to join me in this fantastic journey of building our nonprofit.

​Can you share a business idea?​

Although I have many business ideas, it doesn’t mean that they will be necessary to others.

It is the idea that you never lose. It will live in you until you believe in yourself, and then it will die.

This is how readers should see their business ideas flourish.

What’s your recent best buy? ​

My fellow Board of Directors who paid for our Trademark fees was the best $100.

Because it was a sign of their commitment to our organization, it was crucial.

This realization made me realize that I wasn’t the only one on this journey.

What are your favorite Softwares or Apps?

Google Drive is a great tool to maximize my productivity. It allows me to create, upload, and organize all documents that pertain to my organization.

Salesforce is an essential tool that helps you manage all information regarding events, donors, and participants.

Which book would you recommend?

Limitless is a book I highly recommend. It stated that everyone is capable, and the most important thing is belief.

This was my first book in a while. It allowed me to concentrate on what I am good at and improve them.

​What’s your favorite quote?​

Teamwork is the key to making dreams come true!

What are the key learnings you can offer to our readers?

Do you know what Bill Gates quoted if they had to start from 0? He said my number one priority would be networking. Hence networking is essential.

Success is dependent on your professional development, so keep improvising in your professional career.

It would help if you surrounded yourself with people who share your vision and are open to supporting you.

It’s not good for business or growth to be attached to your ego.

Trust in yourself and love, but most importantly, pray!

Additional information may be acquired via [email protected] or Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn @Harlemsgrace.


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