Grace Uwizeye-Allen

Grace Uwizeye-Allen

 

Role Model Grace Uwizeye-Allen

Navigating Worlds Through Human Connection

 

By Michelle Vasquez  |  Photography by Suzanne Pack

 

Grace Uwizeye-Allen has mastered the art of etiquette and protocol, equipping her to navigate seamlessly across diverse social circles.

 

She has an innate ability to connect on a human level and transform any environment into a space of understanding and relatability, regardless of the circumstances. Grace helps others bring poise and confidence into any situation.   

 

Her life is a story about resilience and empathy. It started with her harrowing escape as a child from the Rwandan genocide, from which she sought refuge in America.

 

In 1994, when the Rwandan genocide began, she could never have imagined her life to follow. Separated from her father due to the war, her mother led Grace and her brothers out of Rwanda under the direst circumstances. Surrounded by death, war, and poverty in refugee camps, Grace learned early on from her mother about the spirit of faith, perseverance, and gratitude. 

 

After settling in Eastern Kentucky and reuniting with their father, she and her family moved to a large city in Western Ohio. To say the challenges were significant would be an understatement. Not speaking the language and coming out of a completely different environment is overwhelming at any age. She chuckles as she recalls how she adapted to her new environment, including learning English by watching Sesame Street.

 

Learning the language and culture were obstacles that were necessary to overcome, and she is forever grateful for the generosity of those who assisted her family through this transition period. “We were constantly learning and adapting, but still had times when we felt as though we didn’t belong or fully understand the unspoken social norms of our environments,” says Grace. Her drive to feel a sense of belonging inspired her and this motivation steered her towards etiquette, guiding others through spaces where they may have once felt out of place.

 

After graduating high school, Grace joined the United States Air Force and served the nation for 12 years. “Part of my motivation to serve was being able to give back to the country that provided my family refuge and gave me another opportunity in life. I wanted to find a way to give that back,” she says. 

 

When she joined the military, she quickly earned a reputation for leading and training top-performing teams, focusing on professional development. Based on her exposure to many situations, she cultivated the ability to move in any room among people of different backgrounds who come together for a unified cause. “Etiquette accomplishes so much more than placement of utensils; it’s about understanding people, understanding humanity, and finding ways to connect on common ground,” says Grace.

 

Following the military, Grace knew her calling was to launch an etiquette consultancy, Graceful Etiquette. With 16 years of experience, she specializes in business, social, and children’s etiquette, providing tailored training to individuals and organizations to optimize their best presence. She has partnered with top organizations in hospitality, retail, and education.

 

Her courses for youth focus on reinforcing manners, confidence, and social skills through introductions, conversational skills, public speaking, and dining etiquette. For young adults, she emphasizes situational awareness in social environments, college and career preparation, interviews, resumes, and dining skills.

 

For adults, Grace focuses on networking, self-presentation and style, public speaking, and business dining etiquette. “These small details make a big impression. We emphasize that people do business with those they like and trust, so clients can leverage our etiquette expertise to advance their business goals,” says Grace.

 

Grace’s story is one of overcoming tremendous adversity and using her experience to teach others about forming meaningful connections through etiquette. Graceful Etiquette is more than a business—it’s a platform for change, encouraging people from all walks of life to interact with confidence, respect, and empathy. Grace believes that “from boardroom to classrooms, my purpose is to help you shine in the rooms you’ve worked hard to reach.”

 

Grace Uwizeye-Allen
Grace Uwizeye-Allen

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