February 21, 2024

Grace “Grasya” Smith has worked as a clinical residential program coordinator for The New England Center for Children (NECC) for two and a half years. She was nominated by her colleagues because “when she is on shift, we feel her presence and support. When we see Grasya, we are instantly relieved. She finds what needs to be done and does it, and more! We hope that she knows how much we appreciate all that she does for us and our team!”

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part is seeing both the small and big progress of our students, as well as witnessing staff’s growth within their respective roles.

Why did you choose a career in helping children with autism?

I chose a career in the field of autism because I find it immensely fulfilling to positively impact the lives of children, especially those who need more of our understanding and care.


I chose NECC because in addition to the extensive training and educational opportunities that NECC offers its staff, I consistently observe the deliberate steps taken by the organization to establish an inclusive and compassionate atmosphere for our clients, as well as for the local and international staff.

Have you taken advantage of any of the grad programs or teacher training at NECC? If so, how has it affected your teaching style?

Certainly! I am in my third year as a graduate assistant at Western New England University and my continued study in the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) has introduced me to various teaching styles that play a crucial role in enhancing the learning process for students with autism. With technology and the aid of the ACE® ABA Software System, the complexity of our teaching methods and data collection has become easier to perform. 

What is something about you that your colleagues might be surprised to learn?

I dedicated four years of my high school experience in the Philippines to theater arts. I actively performed as a stage actress in various productions, and in my senior year, I took on the role of a stage director alongside my colleagues. All these meaningful experiences have contributed to my being as a team player and a leader.

Who is someone you look up to?

I hold great admiration for my mother, whose life experiences have provided valuable lessons to guide me. As a local politician in Iloilo City, Philippines, her resilience as a leader serves as an inspiration for me to aspire to become a great leader myself.

What is your life philosophy or motto you like to live by?

Humble Roots, Grounded Wings.