NJSACC's CEO Ebony Grace Shares Her Afterschool Story!
Did you attend an afterschool program in your youth? Tell us what you did after school usually.
- I attended many afterschool and out-of-school time programs while growing up in Brooklyn, New York. Everything from music clubs, STEM programs on the weekend, summer day camps and a couple of summers at a botanical garden.
How were you introduced to NJSACC?
- I was introduced to NJSACC through its’ grant to provide technical assistance to the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant funded by the NJDOE, where I worked for nearly ten years.
When did you start working at NJSACC?
Your title when you started?
- Director of Expanded Learning Opportunities
Your title now?
- Chief Executive Officer
In your view, why is afterschool important?
- Afterschool and out-of-school time (OST) present a unique opportunity to provide enriching activities to support youth development. Afterschool and OST not only supplement the education of youth, it also provides exposure to new and exciting topics and experiences, social emotional development and supportive adult relationships. Afterschool and OST provide the foundation for youth exploration of new worlds.
In your view, why is NJSACC important?
- The afterschool and OST youth professional is an important component of not only programming, but also the youth they support and work with daily. Many adults, including myself, have fond memories of youth development professionals that positively impacted our lives, in so many ways. These providers need support and NJSACC provides professional development, networking opportunities, coaching, access to a myriad of resources and essential services paramount to the success of the youth development professionals.
Ebony D. Grace is the Chief Executive Officer at NJSACC. Prior to joining NJSACC in 2014, Ebony worked for the New Jersey Department of Education responsible for providing programmatic/budgetary oversight and technical assistance for 21st Century Community Learning Centers and Even Start Family Literacy program grants, assisting with implementation of quality out-of-school time programs, ages birth through adulthood. For over ten years, Ebony worked at various Upward Bound programs assisting first-generation students in their goals to graduate high school and obtain post-secondary education. Ebony graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology from Temple University and a Master’s degree in Family Therapy from MCP Hahnemann/Drexel University. She also has experience as a practicing family therapist providing therapeutic services to individuals, families, couples and adolescents.
In 2015, Ebony was accepted as a White-Riley-Peterson Policy (WRP) Fellow at The Riley Institute at Furman University. In partnership with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the WRP Fellowship is a 10-month, national program designed to equip graduates with a real-world understanding of policy-making for afterschool and expanded learning.
In July 2019, The National Afterschool Association welcomed Ebony as one of two newly elected Board of Directors members, serving a three-year term.
Ebony also has a diploma in Baking and Pastry from the Art Institute of Philadelphia. She and her husband live in southern New Jersey with their two dogs.