Grace Holistic Center for Education (GHCFE) seeks to further the illumination of the human spirit.

GHCFE’s educational design integrates wellness on emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual levels.

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Founding Story: Share a story about a key experience or spark that helps the network understand why this project got started or a story about how you became inspired about the potential for this project to succeed.

Aidan, Tairi Grace’s oldest 13-year-old son has had an Individualized Education Program since first grade and has struggled with sensory issues, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, social anxiety, and learning disabilities. Her two middle children, ages 11 & 8, are extremely gifted & test out of grade on all standardized testing & lack challenging learning opportunities. Having worked with children & parents experiencing numerous emotional, social, & academic struggles has placed her

Which categories describe you? (the answer will not be public)

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French, Caucasian)


Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [State]

  • Illinois

Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [City]


Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [State]

  • Illinois

Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [City]


Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Grace Holistic Center for Education is a premier Pre-K and K-12 institution that will foster improvements in learning and enrichment with approaches that that encompass mind, body, spirit, & academics. By cultivating active parent involvement & expanding global citizenship through service, children will succeed in mentally, emotionally, physically, intelligently & spiritually healthy ways.

Children who matriculate from this program will have “learned how to learn,” and will be able to apply, integrate and move forward in life in a mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually healthy way.

Is your model focused on any of the following traditionally underserved communities?

  • Children who are differently abled

Does your model work within any of the following sectors?

  • Education
  • Mental Health

Year Founded


Project Stage

  • Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)

Example: Walk the network through a specific example of what happens when a person or group engages with your solution.

Grace Holistic Center for Education (GHCFE) seeks to further the illumination of the human spirit. This endeavor is pursued by encompassing mind, body, spirit, and academics. We offer integrative education that provides a wide range of curriculum. One of the ways we achieve this objective is by cultivating active parent involvement, along with expanding global citizenship through service.

Impact: What was the impact of your work last year? Please also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We seek to impact Kendall, Kane, Grundy, LaSalle and DuPage (IL) counties by providing quality, holistic education that focuses on mind, body and spirit. We believe that ingenuity and creativity should be allowed to thrive. Our offerings include daily yoga/meditation, which encourages intuitive problem solving and critical thinking. We also extend Immersion Spanish as a way to enhance memory and academic performance overall. Various programs are offered in the Arts such as music, dance, art, and culinary. GHCFE is happy to share that we will be utilizing the BEarth Institute’s Earthschooling curriculum to provide enriched learning opportunities for our students. Initially designed as a Waldorf homeschooling curriculum, Earthschooling is being used by many public, Montessori and Waldorf school teachers world-wide.

Organization Type

  • nonprofit/NGO/citizen sector

Annual Budget

  • $500k - $1m

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is your solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

In running total, using start-up and yr. 1 operating costs of $573,266 and tuition/district and Friday program fee collection totaling $716,450, by year two GHCFE should have a positive cash flow of $143,184 to sustain and expand services as well as begin to pay Executive Director and Program Director salaries. $270,000 in which grants must exceed this figure. Refer to the cost and budget projections for details.

Unique Value Proposition: How else is this problem being addressed? Are there other organizations working in the same field, and how does your project differ from these other approaches?

Our market share analysis is generated within Kendall County. This geographical location was chosen due to the amount of competition compared to surrounding areas. There are currently five private schools in Kendall County, IL, serving 967 students. The low amount of private schooling leaves room for market share to be competitive. Realizing our competitors have been around for awhile, we plan to take our market share through our experienced business partners and aggressive marketing plan to contain a recipe for success.

Reflect on the Field and its Future: Stepping outside of your project, what do you see as the most important or promising shifts that can advance children’s wellbeing?

By utilizing EarthSchooling curriculum as our integrative programming, across all grade levels, this will encourage “whole brain” thinking and foster lifelong learning while encouraging individual strengths through experiential learning. Therefore, GHCFE students will be empowered, through their gifts, and ethical development, to thrive in an eco-conscious way. GHCFE will adhere to strict district academic standards and has been recognized and registered through the Illinois State Board of Education.

Source: How did you hear about the Children’s Wellbeing Challenge? (the answer will not be public)

  • Word of mouth

Evaluation results

3 evaluations so far

1. Relevance: Does this project seem to help children (ages 0 to 12 years) develop a strong sense of self, belonging, and purpose?

5 - Yes, this is great! The project lays out a strong, compelling case for how its model nurtures children’s wellbeing. - 0%

4 - It seems like a good fit, and the model talks explicitly about children’s wellbeing. - 66.7%

3 - I think so. The project seems related to children’s wellbeing, but the logic is vague. - 0%

2 - Not sure. The project doesn’t have much to do with wellbeing, or it doesn’t give enough information. - 33.3%

1 - Nope, this project definitely doesn’t fit the challenge brief (e.g., It doesn’t help kids younger than 12, isn’t in the U.S., etc.) - 0%

2. Innovation: Does this project tackle children’s wellbeing from a new angle?

5 - I loved this! The project describes a novel model that addresses important cultural or systemic barriers. - 0%

4 - This is pretty cool. The project is addressing an important problem in a new or compelling way. - 0%

3 - I feel like there’s something there, but I want more details about what makes it distinctive. - 66.7%

2 - It’s a good project, but I’ve seen others like it before. - 0%

1 - It was confusing or hard to tell what it made it different. - 33.3%

3. Social Impact: What is this project’s potential for creating positive social impact?

5 - Lots of potential. This project is achieving impressive results, and it’s growing quickly. It could absolutely inspire changes in the ways we approach caring for kids nationally, across sectors (e.g. childcare, healthcare, education). - 0%

4 - Pretty good potential. This project demonstrates significant positive impact so far, and it could scale regionally or nationally one day and fundamentally change how a system operates (e.g. childcare, healthcare, education). - 33.3%

3 - Budding potential. This project is creating local impact, but it would take a few adjustments before it could scale. - 0%

2 - Some potential. This project demonstrates some initial positive impact, but it would require major changes before it could scale. - 33.3%

1 - Limited potential. This project has great intentions, but it looks like it does not include key drivers of a shift towards children’s wellbeing. - 33.3%

4. Overall, how do you feel about this idea?

5 - This idea rocked my world. It’s awesome! - 0%

4 - This idea seems really exciting. With a little more polishing, it’d be among my favorites. - 33.3%

3 - I think the idea is great, but it needs some work before it moves onto the next round. - 0%

2 - I liked it fine but preferred others. - 33.3%

1 - It didn’t make my heart beat faster. Needs significant revisions. - 33.3%

5. Offer some feedback. Where should this participant spend some time revising?

DEFINING THE PROBLEM. Make sure to articulate the root causes or main barriers of the social issue your project addresses. (Founding Story, Problem, Solution). - 100%

CLARITY OF MODEL. Make sure to mention (a.) the beneficiary, b) the main activities, and c) how those activities drive social impact. Keep it streamlined! - 100%

MARKETPLACE. Make sure to research other players in this space and articulate how this project is different. I didn’t get a complete sense of how this project compares to others. - 66.7%

IMPACT POTENTIAL. Make sure to use specific numbers to describe what your project has achieved so far! And consider how you might scale the model or its insights, through partnerships, trainings, or franchising. - 66.7%

WRITING STYLE. Try to stay concise and make it vivid. Avoid jargon. - 66.7%

Nothing stands out! I thought it was great. - 0%


Join the conversation:

Photo of Michael Auerbach

I always support projects that take a holistic approach to the development of a child. Would love to hear more specifics regarding your actual activities.

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