How Graceworks Started
The founder of Graceworks, Dr. Susan Njemanze, grew up in rural Kenya, Africa. After completing high school, she was fortunate to be sponsored by a family from Orange County, California to come to the United States to further her education. She earned a bachelor’s degree in child development from California State University, Fullerton, a MS in social work from California State University, Long Beach, and an Ed.D. in counseling psychology from Argosy University. Susan’s compassion for people in need inspired her to become a social worker.
When Susan returned to visit Kenya after many years in the US, she was stunned at the devastation that the HIV/AIDS epidemic had caused in her Kenyan community. She had lost classmates, relatives, and friends to the disease. Furthermore, Susan found out that many children had become orphans due to the epidemic and were living with impoverished relatives, mostly grandparents, who could not provide for their basic needs. In 2007, Susan helped with the registration of Graceworks as a non-profit charitable organization in an effort to reach out to children in need both locally and internationally.