Cultivating hope & empowerment in young girls

Founder & CEO

Meet our Founder/CEO

Donna Marie Romani

Donna Marie Romani

Donna has enjoyed a distinguished career providing education and behavior consulting services to individuals and families living with communication and behavior challenges. She has dedicated her adult life to helping others, in and out of the classroom, the boardroom, the hospital room, and private homes.

In 2015, Donna’s passion for uplifting and empowering the lives of young girls led her to bring to life Grace in the Mud (GRACE), a for-purpose 501 (c) (3) charitable organization to help young girls develop skills that will help them transition into adulthood and become the leaders of the next generation.

GRACE provides fully immersive enrichment programming to pre-adolescent girls ages 9-11, enabling the girls to safely learn about personal areas of interest from local experts, fostering connections with mentors from all walks of life, and incorporating a routine of self-care practices. Donna incorporates throughout the curriculum valuable lessons promoting positive identity formation, character development, and civic responsibility. Building on this foundation, Donna supports a growing community and works to organically grow to fulfill GRACE’s mission and provide continuity of opportunities and support for the girls as they transition into adulthood and reach 21 years of age.

With a degree in Special Education from Rowan University and a Parent Training certification from Rutgers University, Donna commands the highest respect and maintains long-standing collaborative working relationships with many physicians, mental health and specialty care providers, child study teams, teachers, and ancillary care providers in the tristate area. In a continuous effort to stay up to date with the latest research and modalities, Donna continues coursework in behavioral and educational disciplines such as Mindfulness in Psychotherapy, Suicideology, Psycopathology, and Applied Behavior Analysis. Since 2003, Donna has been a professional member of the Collaborative Office Rounds (COR) at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), supporting the pediatrician’s role in the educational process.

As an active member of St. Peter Celestine parish (now Christ our Light), Donna designed and implemented the elementary school’s Inclusion Initiative. Commissioned by the Moorestown First Presbyterian Church, Donna designed and implemented the first successful Special Needs Sunday School and Inclusion Program, later used throughout the region as a template for ecumenical training. Donna also received the “Rainbows for all God’s Children” diocesan certification and was co-coordinator of Children’s Loss and Bereavement Support Groups. Donna is a member of Learning and the Brain Society, FemCity® of Southern New Jersey, the National Association of Professional Women, the NJ Center for Non-Profits, and the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey.

Having bloomed where she was planted, Donna has actively volunteered in the southern New Jersey region since 1975, serving in roles on the Cherry Hill/Haddonfield Domestic Violence Response Teams and the Juvenile Conference Committee for the Camden County Vicinage, among others. Donna remains an on-going behavior support and training advocate for the St. Cecilia’s Little Angels Program, and provides Mentoring to students within the L.U.C.Y. (Lifting Up Camden’s Youth) Outreach Organization in Camden.

Donna may be reached at [email protected] and 856.577.5165.