In October 2018, 30 American Securities volunteers returned to Grace Institute to help with the professional development of unemployed and underemployed women.
After introductory remarks, including by American Securities’ CEO Michael Fisch, who explained to Grace students what a private equity firm does and why our partnership with Grace matters to so many colleagues, we started the day with an icebreaker bingo game. Then we conducted rotating speed mentoring sessions in which Grace women met with different American Securities professionals to seek insights about the Five Essential Skills for the workplace learned by each class: organization, communication, interpersonal intelligence, critical thinking/problem solving, and initiative. Later, we broke into small group sessions focused on time management, conflict resolution, and negotiation. We also participated in a confidence-building exercise, where everyone shared and discussed a word that described a positive aspect about themselves, and then talked about ways to build our own self-esteem and promote self-confidence in others. We finished the day by sharing our experiences with the broader group and discussing what both Grace participants and American Securities colleagues had learned.
Additionally, in April 2018, American Securities donated New York City MetroCards to Grace students, providing an incoming student body of 30 women with public transportation fare for the duration of their three-month program. In Fall 2018, the firm sponsored Grace’s annual fundraiser, Breakfast with Grace, to support the organization’s programs. Finally, in December 2018, American Securities hosted a clothing drive in which colleagues donated new and gently-used clothing and accessories to help provide Grace participants with professional, work-appropriate attire for job interviews and for their eventual careers.
Founded in 1897, over 100,000 women have come through Grace Institute’s doors. Today, Grace Institute serves as a leader in workforce development for women. It serves 300 women annually by developing advanced computer and professional skills to prepare students for administrative and customer support positions in industries such as banking, not-for-profit, health care, and hospitality.
Our Giving Back report debuted in 2011 as a testament to how those of us at American Securities, and our portfolio companies, live our value of Giving Back.