Last month the world celebrated Social Work month, but at GRACE Case Workers strive each day of the year to ensure every client is heard, loved and supported to build stronger families.
These are the hardworking women behind the scenes who exemplify GRACE’s core values of compassion, respect, excellence and servanthood: Client Services Manager, Marcela Melendez, LMSW, Transitional Housing Manager, Jamé Scott, MBA, MSW, Transitional Housing Case Manager, Brittany Griggs, and Bilingual Case Workers Dyan Anderson and Kassie Rivas.
The women in our Client Services and Transitional Housing departments advocate measurable positive changes that address unique barriers and provide long-term solutions to family members, such as accountability, continued education and budgeting.
Selected as the Case Manager of the Year for the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition and recipient of the GRACE MVP in 2013, Marcela Melendez, LMSW, has touched countless lives and lends reliable oversight for her Case Managers.
Marcela achieved her Master of Science in Social Work from Abilene Christian University, and has worked with GRACE for nearly five years. When asked what has been the most enriching aspect, Marcela says most moved by the power of listening. She has seen how understanding can transform someone’s countenance, and allow for deeper perspective about their setback.
As a proud foster child to loving parents, Transitional Housing Manager, Jamé Scott’s passion for strengthening families led her to GRACE. The San Francisco native spent much of her career in Tennessee, where she received her Master of Social Work at the University of Memphis. Jamé also holds a Master of Business Administration from Stayer University and is currently preparing for her state licensure in Social Work.
Jamé’s favorite aspect of GRACE is the freedom to meet the individual needs of the client versus a “one size fits all” approach. Recently she taught a young mother how to make chicken Alfredo from scratch, which not only presented a teachable moment and bonding opportunity, but a time of laughter over a delicious home cooked meal.
Transitional Housing Case Manager Brittany Griggs loves being able to meet the emotional and material needs of her clients in a flexible, faith-based environment. Brittany received her Social Work degree from Stephen F. Austin University, and comes with a background as a CASA Volunteer Supervisor and full-time nanny.
Brittany believes many people would be surprised to know that the Transitional Housing clients often have an impressive education, and face other invisible barriers such as mental illness or the emotional scars of abuse. She greatly values the opportunity to encourage parents so their children, in turn, can have a brighter future.
Bilingual Case worker Dyan Anderson taught English and Social Studies in Guatemala and El Salvador before coming to GRACE, and loves the universal power of education to increase a family’s earning potential and set an example for their children. Dyan’s formal education came from University of Texas Arlington, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in English Literature.
Bilingual Case Worker Kassie Rivas came to GRACE after receiving her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Texas. Kassie has a heart for youth development, and founded the Doves Achieving Success, a mentorship program that developed social confidence and problem solving skills with adolescents. She feels immense satisfaction knowing that a family can come feeling downtrodden, and leave equipped and refreshed.
These are just glimpses of some of the staff at GRACE, who wake up every morning with the prayerful hope that their expertise and kindness makes an impact on families in our community. Please continue to pray that the GRACE staff has discernment, wisdom and shows His love to everyone they encounter.