Making each step count with Grace Stone

July 08, 2024
Grace Stone, ASC volunteer

Grace Stone, a seasoned educator, has dedicated her life to empowering others through language learning. Recently, Grace joined our Employment Services team to volunteer her time as an English tutor. 

Her passion for language learning began at an early age.

“When I was 12 years old, my family moved to Germany and I didn’t know any German. I spent my first 18 months of high school in Germany and I came to understand how very, very difficult it is to go to school and interact with people and make friends and be a member of the community.”

From then on, her vocation in language education began. 

“Language can be such a barrier. It’s even a barrier for simple things like just conveying your personality.”

Using privilege for good

Having spent decades shaping young minds in high school classrooms, her next step is to spend her retirement years doing volunteer work. Grace helps people seeking asylum navigate the complexities of English. 

“I’ve been fortunate, and with that privilege comes responsibility,” she shares. “I’m no more loved than a person who has nothing and often people who find themselves in difficult circumstances.” 

Grace also believes in being part of a country with an open and generous heart. 

“Our country has a very poor history of welcoming newcomers and I do not think that contributes to our overall happiness,” she observes. 

“When you try to hold on to something just for yourself and you protect your own needs, then you’re not expansive as a person and you have to focus so much inwardly, and so much on control, that you actually give up a lot, give up a lot of peace. You give up a lot of generosity”, Grace adds. 

For Grace, fostering a spirit of openness and acceptance is not just a duty but a personal calling rooted in her Christian faith and belief in universal human dignity.

Making Steps Count

Beyond her teaching and volunteering, Grace Stone is also an avid triathlete. Her love for running culminates annually in the City2Surf, a race she has participated in for over two decades. “It’s like Christmas for me!” she beams. Last year, Grace ran the course in 74 minutes! 

This year, Grace decided to leverage her passion for running to support ASC, setting a fundraising goal of $500. “I’ve just started at ASC, and I can see there’s a real need,” Grace remarks. Within a day of promoting her fundraising campaign, Grace surpassed her goal and has now raised more than $1,000! She adds, “I’m also fortunate that I have a lot of generous family and friends.”

Looking Forward: Stepping Into Hope  

As Grace prepares for the upcoming City2Surf, her dedication to her dual passions—running and teaching—remains unwavering. 

“We are a lucky country. We have a stable government. We are free from war, free from persecution. We really don’t know how easy we have it. Human rights are basic rights, and access to freedom, access to a job, access to a sense of security in your day-to-day life is absolutely vital for current adults, but also for emerging adults, and I guess emerging adults and kids have been my passion for my life. I want to see them thrive.”

For Grace Stone, retirement is a chance to continue making a difference, one race, one lesson, at a time.

To donate to Grace’s City2Surf fundraising campaign for the Asylum Seekers Centre, click here.

Are you also interested in running for Asylum Seekers Centre at City2Surf? Learn more here!

A Feast Of Cultures: Celebrating Refugee Week at ASC 11 years too long: End offshore detention after more than a decade of cruelty