The Founders of The Grace Foundation

In 2010, Father Jean Baptiste Ganza, Julie Coleman and Gayatri Agnew met at Seattle University. After hearing Fr. Ganza’s story, his hopes and his dreams for his country, (see article from Seattle University magazine) Julie and Gayatri made the decision to found the Grace Foundation to support education in Rwanda, and partnered with Fr. Ganza to build St. Ignatius school. To date most of St. Ignatius school has been built through philanthropic dollars raised in Europe and the United States, with most of the money coming from Seattle, Washington. All funds raised over the past 3 years have been processed through a separate Jesuit non profit organization. With a growing donor base and the successful completion of grades kindergarten through ninth grade, they made the decision to start a local non profit. TheGrace Foundation was founded in 2014 and will now be the local 501(c)3 corporation which will process all funds raised for St. Ignatius School.  Our overarching vision is to continue building Jesuit schools in Rwanda and to place our graduating seniors in Jesuit universities throughout the world. 

Meet Our Founders

Julie Coleman - Co-Founder, President

Ms. Coleman has spent over 25 years as a development professional in Seattle, New York and Kigali, Rwanda. She most recently was Director of Development at Seattle University where they completed their capital campaign goal of $170 million dollars in 2013. In addition, she is a local Seattle philanthropist committed to the delivery and sustainability of education to the marginalized of society. She has served on over ten non profit boards, ranging in scope from education, homelessness, poverty and medical research. She has chaired several capital campaigns and has served as  the campaign chair for St. Ignatius school for the past three years. Ms. Coleman has her BA from the University of Washington in Political Science and a MA in Transformational Leadership from Seattle University. 

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Fr, Jean Baptiste Ganza, S.J. – Co-founder of the Grace Foundation. Provincial of Rwanda/Burundi Province

Jean Baptiste Ganza is a Jesuit priest from Rwanda. He was the 5th of nine siblings born to Gamaliel and Agnes, his parents. He joined the Jesuits in 1994, the year his mother, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandmothers were massacred by Hutu militiamen. His training took him to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Kenya, and US. He collected along the way three masters: in Social Sciences, Social Ethics, and Business Administration. He is currently the promoter of the Jesuit education project in Kigali, also called Kibagabaga Project, and the delegate of the Provincial for Jesuit secondary education in Rwanda and Burundi. He is the Provincial of the Rwanda/Burundi Province. Jean Baptiste Ganza has his MA in Social Ethics from Berkeley and MBA from Seattle University. 

Learn more about Ganza and his journey >

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