Not-for-profit professionals speak about their positive service and advocacy work with diverse and underrepresented individuals and communities.
Sister Grace Miller, Founder, House of Mercy
Sister Grace is known for her activism, commitment to social justice and heart for the homeless. Throughout her lifetime, Sister Grace has been involved in countless demonstrations and social activist groups. In 1985, Sister Grace, with help from the Sisters of Mercy, opened a shelter in a small house on Central Park just north of downtown Rochester. The House of Mercy is now a permanent homeless shelter and drop-in center on Hudson Ave. serving more than 4,000 people a month. Sister Grace has received countless awards for her community service and humanitarian actions.
Michelle Boyd ’14/’17, CEO, Bring on Your Dream, Inc.
Michele Boyd ‘14/’17 is a HIV/AIDS advocate and mentor as well as a research assistant for Highland Hospital. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work (magna cum laude) and a master’s degree in public administration, both from The College at Brockport. She serves as Vice Chair of the Rochester Area Task Force on AIDS, Inc., Governance Committee Chair of Jordan Health Board of Directors, and Consumer Engagement Leader on Monroe County Partnering to End the Epidemic (MCPEtE) as well as other advisory boards and committees locally and across NYS. She recently founded a non-profit organization, Bring On Your Dreams, Inc. dedicated to transforming the lives of women in challenging life situations especially those living with HIV/AIDS.
Joy Bergfalk, Executive Director, Coffee Connection Joy Bergfalk founded Project Empower in 2006 to empower women to live into their full potential. The program focuses on the interplay of trauma in women’s lives with addiction, poverty, and violence. In 2011, the program was merged with the Coffee Connection, a nonprofit business providing employment training for women in recovery. Growing from one store and five women, the Coffee Connection now has two locations stores and about 30 women working and learning together in a diverse work environment, with an 80% success rate in empowering women to build a sustainable recovery and life.