ATHENA Leadership Award Finalist: Ellen Grant

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to introduce you to the finalists who have been selected for the 2017 ATHENA® Awards. We will bring you profiles of each finalist in the weeks ahead, leading up to the awards ceremony luncheon on Thursday, March 30th, 2017 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

So come back often and you’ll learn what it means to be an Athena. And be sure to save the date – March 30 – to attend the awards luncheon.

Interested in attending the ATHENA Luncheon on Thursday, March 30th? Click here to register.

Ellen Grant Buffalo Niagara Partnership ATHENA Award FinalistEllen E. Grant, Ph.D., LCSW-R
Senior Vice President, Chapter Programming
Say Yes to Education

As Senior Vice President for Chapter Programming at Say Yes to Education’s National organization, Dr. Grant provides programming support to its community-wide chapters in the upstate New York cities of Buffalo and Syracuse – as well as to a smaller chapter in Harlem in New York City. From 2013 to, 2015, Dr. Grant served as Deputy Mayor of the City of Buffalo. Her responsibilities included overseeing education and health policy, as well as many of the office’s day-to-day operations. In that capacity, she worked closely with other community leaders to develop and implement the Say Yes Buffalo partnership.

First Job Out of School

Dr. Grant’s first job out of school was at a Community Action Organization and Neighborhood Youth Services program.

Career Highlights

 Dr. Grant notes that the best thing about her career is the gratitude of the students, parents, caretakers, community and school stakeholders that are provided a post-secondary career path via trade school or college to positively impact the economics of the area in which Say Yes operates. She says another highlight has been the honor of working for Mayor Byron Brown, “Mayor of the best city in the USA”.

 On Buffalo Niagara

“It’s ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE! Buffalo & WNY is generally a friendly place to live, work and play. It’s easy to navigate to just about anywhere fairly easily. My favorite time is summer.”

Best Piece of Advice Given Regarding Her Career

For career and life, Dr. Grant’s parents taught her the “Golden Rule” from the Bible. “Do unto others as you would them do unto you”. In sum, treat all – regardless of a title or not – with RESPECT.

About Being an Athena Finalist

“I recall the words of Golda Meir, the 4th Prime Minister of Israel, who once said, “Don’t be so humble, you’re not that great!” I am, however, humbled to be thought of in the same company as my sister honorees. The pure joy I feel in helping others, knowing “If I can help somebody”-as the “Negro” spiritual says – “then my living will not be in vain”. Each day I ask GOD for the strength to continue to be a servant leader. This gives me the optimism to move my feet to the next step. Thank you for honoring this “little girl” from the projects.”