Foster dog mom, First Lady deckhand, and archery teacher to children who are visually impaired, this cheese-loving medical student is a wonderful addition to our team.
1. Why did you become a deckhand?
I grew up by the ocean and have always loved being near the water. The chance to be outside in the summer, learning about architecture and working with a great team of people also made it really appealing. You learn a lot of great skills and we get the best view of the city on a daily basis. You can’t beat that!
2. What is the most adventurous thing you've ever done?
I decided to study abroad before I moved to Chicago, so I packed up and moved to the tiny island of Anguilla for 16 months. It was definitely an adventure.
3. Where did you grow up?
I’m originally from Nova Scotia on the East Coast of Canada. I moved to Chicago in 2016 for school and am hoping to stay in the city when I graduate. Growing up on the Atlantic Ocean I was so impressed with Chicago’s lakefront when I moved here. It’s not quite the same but on a windy day when the waves are big, Lake Michigan could pass as an ocean.
4. Tell us about your most interesting job.
I worked as counsellor for a few summers at a camp called Brigadoon Village. It is designed specifically for children living with chronic illnesses and disabilities. It was amazing to see how resilient and positive kids can be when they’re faced with these challenges. Watching them connect with each other and meet new friends while enjoying just being a kid. One of my highlights was helping visually impaired campers learn how to do archery – not as scary as you’d think it would be!
5. If you had to eat just one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Probably macaroni and cheese. Cheese is my favorite food group.
6. What is your favorite building on the tour and why?
It’s not finished yet, but Jeanne Gang’s Vista Tower is incredible. The amount of thought, creative design and environmental consideration that went into her vision is mind-blowing. The fact that she is a female architect excelling in what is often considered a male-dominated field is also impressive. Her firm, Studio Gang, continues to design these architectural marvels, outdoing the beauty of their previous buildings time after time.
7. Do you currently have any other jobs?
I am a full-time medical student and am just about to graduate. I am applying for a residency in psychiatry this fall so unfortunately this will be my last season with Chicago’s First Lady Cruises/Mercury Cruises. It’s been an amazing job and a great learning experience.
8. Are there any projects, clubs or organizations that you're apart of outside of the cruises?
I am a volunteer with the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital and I foster dogs through PAWS Chicago. Right now I have a beautiful foster girl named Roxy. She’s the best.
9. Where is the next destination on your travel wish list?
I’d love to travel to the Mediterranean – Croatia, Greece, Turkey. You can’t beat great food, amazing scenery and warm beaches.
Thanks for being a part of the Chicago's First Lady team, Grace! We wish you luck with your residency!