Sorority Saturday: Grace Perron of Pi Beta Phi

This week’s Sorority Saturday feature is Grace Perron of Pi Beta Phi!

Grace is a third-year Social Work and Political Science double major, who was born and raised right in Bangor, Maine! She transferred from the University of New England to the University of Maine in her second year of college and is the current President of her chapter, Pi Beta Phi (Pi Phi). Grace joined Pi Phi last fall and has made obvious leaps and bounds in her chapter, going from a brand new initiate to Chapter President in only a year! What sealed the deal about Pi Phi for Grace was their intense focus on “excellence and determination to reach academic success,” which has been proven this semester since the ladies of Pi Phi earned the highest Panhellenic GPA this year! Grace said that the first Pi Phi sister she met was Casco Haley and she was so taken with the way Casco prided herself on her chapter’s academics, support, and the continued sisterhood - even after graduation!

In regards to being her chapter’s President, Grace said that the most rewarding aspect so far has been “making sure that I help every sister achieve their academic and personal goals during their four years on campus. Being an open and honest person for everyone to go to for advice has created such a prosperous chapter thus far in my term. With the help of these women, I have been able to enhance my strengths, while also working through my weaknesses, such as public speaking. There is a combined effort to push one another towards success.” Like the other Panhellenic chapters on our campus, support and empowerment are central to their sisterhood, which is very apparent in the way that Grace speaks of her experience with Greek life at the University of Maine. Grace says that one of her goals is “to become the best version of myself in terms of communication skills and expressing empathy,” in order to both make the best decisions possible for her chapter as well as be as transparent with her sisters as she can be throughout the process. She also credits the reason behind her personal growth within herself to her chapter and when talking about this aspect specifically, Grace put it beautifully stating “Pi Phi has made me a better woman through their support and reassurance that my efforts are valuable to this chapter and community. Each and every sister empowers me to enhance my skills and makes me proud of my accomplishments.” As much as Grace has grown since being a part of Pi Phi, she recognizes that she still has goals and growth ahead of her, especially within her chapter since her term as President is only beginning! 

Besides her commitments as President, a sister of Pi Phi, and as a student (Dean’s List all semesters!!), Grace works multiple jobs in the Bangor area. She started as a volunteer at the Mabel Wadsworth Center, an independent, non-profit health center, and now holds a position as an Office Assistant. In the fall, she coaches the Varsity Field Hockey team at Bangor High School, where she used to play herself! As if she weren’t busy enough, Grace has worked as a waitress at Hero’s Sports Bar for the last four years (Go visit her there and tip your waitress well!!). On top of her work, Grace also is an active volunteer and notably, she is especially involved in the Bangor YMCA where she promotes Pi Phi’s philanthropy Read>Lead>Achieve, during which she reads to elementary children to encourage literacy in children! Besides her chapter’s philanthropy, Grace volunteers with Bangor Parks and Recreation to run year-round field hockey clinics for girls ages five to fourteen. About volunteering, Grace expressed  that “both of these are extremely special because I love working with kids and helping them achieve their goals, both on and off the field.”

As a junior, Grace still has time to decide what she wants to do after she graduates but she’s got a pretty good idea! She wants to use her experience as both a Social Work and Political Science major to work with “groups affected by institutional racism in prison systems,” by working on their behalf in law and policy decisions. Regardless of where she ends up, she said her main goal is “to make a difference for future generations to achieve economic and social equality.” Grace changed her major a couple of times, transferred universities, and has wandered out of her comfort zone but it was all a step on the way to finding herself in the right place! Hearing Grace’s responses to these questions this week, it’s clear that she has taken college for everything it is worth. It’s inspiring to meet a leader on our campus who is so driven academically, philanthropically, and has a mind to make the lives of women and other individuals better through work and service. Thank you, Grace, for everything you have done for the Bangor community, the University of Maine, Pi Beta Phi, and the incredible work you will continue to do in the future!

I will leave you all with a little bit of advice from Grace:

“If I could go back and give myself advice I would say don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself. RELAX! Break out of your comfort zone and try new things. “

Grace also added: 

I would love another friendly face on campus, so don’t be afraid to reach out to me!