Directing Cedar Rapids Dance Marathon, working three jobs, owning a business and going to school full time, junior Emily Grace does it all.
"I hardly have any time out of my busy schedule, but I love what I do and that's what makes it all worth it," Grace said.
Grace originally planned on being an architect, but soon realized following passion over money was the best way to live life. That is when she decided to begin her own bakery business called Sugar and Grace. She runs the business out of her home and has about three orders of cakes and cookies a week.
Grace is majoring in graphic design and marketing at Mount Mercy, which should compliment her goal of a successful and growing business. Grace's plan after graduating college is to move her bakery business to the downtown Cedar Rapids or Marion area.
"When I do open Sugar and Grace, I definitely want to keep it local and make sure that I have my feet underneath me before I think about expanding my business," Grace said.
Her grandmother was always baking cookies and cakes for her daycare and for her family when Grace was younger, which sparked her interest in baking.
"When I got older I went through the bakery program at Kirkwood, and eventually I started working at the Kirkwood Hotel as their wedding cake decorator which is what essentially lead me to want to open my own bakery," Grace said.
On top of Sugar and Grace bakery, she is also the executive director for Cedar Rapids Dance Marathon. Grace is extremely passionate for the fundraising organization and is excited for it to be at the Kirkwood Recreation Center on April 12.
Cedar Rapids Dance Marathon is a student-run philanthropic organization that provides support year-round to pediatric patients and their families. It's an event that celebrates the children survivors and remembrance for the children who have passed. The marathon is 12 hours long and the participants are asked to stay on their feet the entire time.
"Don't let the term ‘dance’ scare you off. CRDM has much more to offer than just dancing," said Grace.
Participants have the opportunity to dance for the 12 hours, but they can also play basketball, videogames and socialize.
This is Grace's third year being a part of CRDM.
"It feels so rewarding to help families and students. Everyone should get involved, it's a given," said Grace.
As executive director, Grace oversees her team for CRDM. This means she assists her school recruitment team, covers stage time and orders merchandise
Aside from CRDM and her bakery business, Grace also works at Popoli Restaurant and Sullivan's bar as a pastry chef; she creates all of the desserts.
Grace works at Zoey's Pizzeria, too. She answers the phones, takes orders and seats guests.
"I like the guest side a little more so I can interact with costumers," said Grace.
For her third job, she does public relations and marketing for the Kirkwood Bookstore. Grace is in charge of all social media, whether it's updating Facebook for an upcoming sale, or just a reminder.
"I'm waiting for the day when I show up to the wrong job because I have so much going on,” Grace said. “I basically live out of my agenda, which is color coded and super detailed and my phone reminders are very helpful, too."
This Student Profile was written by Taylor Thompson, Staff Writer, and was originally published in the Mount Mercy Times during the 2013-14 academic year.