Grace Institute Partnering to help Female Veterans, Military Spouses, & Families

July 12, 2012

Grace Institute Partnering to help Female Veterans, Military Spouses, & Families

Grace Institute, a 115 year-old tuition-free, job-training program for women in New York City, ( is honored to be partnering with Blue Star Families to help Female Veterans and Military Spouses and Families.  At the 2012 CGI America meeting, Jolene Varley Handy, Director of Career Services at Grace, announced the organizations Commitment,  Serving Our Female Veterans/Military Families: Skills & Support (to view full commitment, visit Gigi Gilliard who heads the Admissions Department at Grace, along with Irlem Adames, Admissions Coordinator,  have already admitted 4 female veterans and 8 spouses and family members to join our September classes. They have launched an aggressive outreach in the NYC community and are confident that these numbers will grow rapidly.

Lauren Silberstein, LMSW and Manager of Social Work and Students Services at Grace, recently attended the Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative administered by the NASW and is also recruiting Clinical Social Work interns whose sole responsibility will be to work with the military spouses and family members to assist with the transition to life off the base. The goal is to recruit, support, train and provide job opportunities for our veterans and Milfams, as we create a template within our existing program for them.  Kate Vaughan, Asst. Director of Career Services, Lense Gebre-Mariam, Manager of Career Services and Kelsey Richardson, Career Development Instructor will be working on preparing the students for interviews, resume writing and soft skills training, along with working with employers who are already committed to hiring our veterans and families at the completion of the program. The training, which includes intensive computer classes, business writing and career development, will culminate in an invitation only job fair at Grace for our students with over 40 employers in attendance. 

If you are an employer in NYC and would like to join us in this Commitment, please contact Jolene Varley Handy at  For ways to help us reach out to as many families as possible to join our tuition-free training program, please contact Gigi Gilliard at


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