GRACE MAHARY ||| Model, Founder of Project Tsehigh
Eritrean-Canadian model and global activist Grace Mahary is blazing her own trail through the fashion industry and beyond. The former high school basketball champion was discovered while shopping with her mother in her hometown of Alberta, Canada. Willing to bet on herself from a young age, at just 16 years old, Grace moved cross country to Toronto by herself to further pursue her modelling career.
Grace entered the Elle Canada Model search, took home the top prize and hasn’t looked back. She officially started her career signing with Elmer Olsen Model Management and then earning a coveted spot on the roster of IMG in 2013. Quickly thereafter, the fashion world began to take notice of the former self-proclaimed tomboy whose smoldering deep-set eyes and grace became recognizable trademarks. As a new face to watch, the runway superstar received her big break courtesy of Givenchy for the Parisian house’s Fall 2012 collection. She has walked runway shows for the most notable names including: the 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, Chanel, Christian Dior, Valentino and Balenciaga. Grace has also appeared in numerous campaigns, including popular series for Diesel and Old Navy. Her editorial work includes American Vogue, W Magazine, CR Fashion Book, Elle Canada and more.
Focused on being an agent of change, Grace founded Project Tsehigh (PJT) in 2015, with a mission to provide uninterrupted energy to impoverished communities around the world via renewable energy sources, starting in Eritrea, her parents’ homeland. Believing in a purpose bigger than herself and leveraging her platform as a model, Grace’s vision is clear: she will convene a group of deeply passionate people to equip communities with the resources and well-being they need to succeed. The nonprofit hopes to launch solar power endeavors in a variety of larger fields such as agriculture, education, medical and public establishments.
Additionally, Grace continues to bridge the gap between fashion and sports, practicing yoga, basketball, and mountain climbing. She has spoken in front of the president of Rwanda at the NBA Africa event for the 2016 All-Star Game and is also an active participant of the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts (MoCADA) and God’s Love We Deliver. She currently resides in New York City.
How: Our primary goal is to equip households with sustainable solar energy.
Where: With the continent of Africa having 1.8 billion youth, more than 20 times than anywhere in the world, PjT has chosen to begin here. Commencing in the country of Eritrea, the first community Project Tsehigh will service is the remote village of Maaya.
Who: There are 100 households in Maaya and PjT aims to light them all. Children, mothers, fathers, all families who like everyone on the planet deserve basic survival resources, will benefit from this project.
Why: At least a billion people on the planet live without electricity. Seventy percent of Eritreans live off the electrical grid. Project Tsehigh strives to decrease these numbers and create access to sustainable renewable energy for every human being.
When: By 2017, we project that 100 households will go from living without electricity to having solar energy. By 2018, we plan to provision solar energy to households and a school.