Grainne McGinley and the heart of giving

Go-Getters are distinguished by their resilience through challenges, transforming knowledge into action, and service to their community. Who better exemplifies these qualities than Grainne McGinley?


Grainne McGinley
Grainne McGinley ’22

Grainne McGinley ’22 is a College of Health Professions Nurse Major on the Pleasantville campus, well known for her dedication to service. A Jefferson Prize winner and member of the National Service Gamma Sigma Sigma sorority, she dedicates what little free time she has to charities, from local animal shelters to food banks to overseas missions. (Seriously, we can’t list everything she’s done, but check out a sampling of some of her community service here!)

Her love for volunteering and her passion for caring both stem from an injury when she was young. At the age of three, a kettle-related burn threw her into the path of a volunteer ambulance corps, and their care stayed with her. She explains: “When I came of age, I made sure to start volunteering with the people who saved my life and the lives of so many others, and became a medical assistant in the ambulance service.”

“When I reached adulthood, I made sure to start volunteering with the people who saved my life and the lives of so many others.”

When she arrived at Pace’s Pleasantville campus, she already had a growing passion for health care, especially heart health. During her sophomore year, she realized that only a third of the campus had access to automatic external defibrillators (AEDs), life-saving medical equipment. It has partnered with the Student Government Association and has added 11 new AEDs to date.

But she didn’t stop there. She currently works as an emergency room technician at Greenwich Hospital and White Plains Hospital, where she has seen first-hand how, in her own words, “CPR and access to proper medical and health education have saved the lives of so many people. »

More often than not, tireless helpers like McGinley work behind the scenes with little recognition, but her peers and professors were so inspired by her work ethic that they voted for her to speak at Commencement. “It was a big surprise for me,” she says. “I’m really thrilled to have this honor to have some closing remarks and to share them with those who have touched me along the way.”

“I really had the opportunity to become a new person and have the experiences that I wanted to have.”

At the time of this interview, she is still working on her speech, but she continues to bring it back to the ideas of working together, seeking opportunities and making a difference. In other words, Opportunities.

When asked what Opportunities means to her, Grainne reflects, “I’m a first-generation student. The opportunity that I had to come to Pace and not only to further my education, but also to make those connections, with my friends, with the faculty, with my future employers in clinical sciences – I really had the opportunity to become a new person, and in the experiences that I wanted to have.

McGinley’s plans for after the start? You can bet on continued community service, as she is on her final steps to getting a CPR instructor license and hopes to bring CPR training to her local community. She has final nursing exams to take and then hopes to continue working in local hospitals, hopefully in an intensive burn unit. With all she has already given, she hopes to give even more. “I would like the opportunity to work with people when they need help the most.”

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