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Current Scholars

Grace Jones


Class of: 2025
Hometown: Irvine, California
School: College of Arts and Science
Major(s): Chemistry and Mathematics
Minors(s): Business

Growing up, Grace gained her first service experiences rehabilitating dogs, especially misunderstood breeds. She has fostered 20 dogs from neglect, behavioral and medical emergencies, and slaughterhouses across the globe. Through long hours of patient love, she has witnessed abandoned animals frozen in fear blossom into carefree survivors. Inspired by the transformations of these rescue dogs and their transition into a new home, Grace worked under professional animal trainers and co-founded Teens4Training, where she has mentored over 175 new dog owners through free dog training workshops. By organizing donation and blanket drives, she has directly partnered with various animal shelters and pet-related businesses to provide additional resources for animals in need. 

 

When Grace sees a problem around her, she takes action to create change. At the start of the stay-at-home orders, Grace founded Focus AIR (Focus on Airborne Illness Relief) and led over 100 students nationally to make and distribute over 5,000 pieces of PPE. She expanded her impact by providing educational and emotional support through initiatives in artwork, research, and writing, in addition to partnering internationally in Cambodia, Denmark, Mexico, and Kenya. From sending handwritten notes to children's homes in Kenya to building an online store for Cambodian women selling masks to finance their education, Grace continually seeks new approaches to improve others’ lives. She has loved inspiring other students to lead change through various speaking events and multiple news features.

 

Looking to her local community, Grace was devastated to learn about a lack of resources and programs for students struggling through familial or economic turmoil. By co-founding Aspire to Inspire, she invested in local impoverished and foster youth through art activities, game nights, and weekly events. Watching these students flourish with newfound self-confidence and emotional support, she sought to increase the accessibility of academic resources. Grace then co-authored a booklet and built an online educational platform that has reached 26 countries across 5 continents. She strives to continually serve these communities, earning her recognition as a 2021 Coke Scholar, President's Volunteer Service Gold Awardee, and Congressional Service Medal Awardee. Grace is deeply honored and grateful to be a part of the Ingram Scholars Program. With the investment of Vanderbilt and the Ingram Scholars Program, she is eager to continue developing as a leader in service for meaningful change.