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About Us

header-aboutOur Story


Our roots stem from the highly acclaimed and nationally recognized DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative, a program that has been transforming the lives of urban youth ministry leaders since 1998. Graduates of the 15 month training in Grand Rapids found themselves transformed by all that they had learned, and began the work of training others.

GR Initiative for Leaders, referred to as GRIL, is a faith-based organization created by alumni of the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative (DVULI). GRIL invests in emerging leaders by providing training over a nine-month period using the scripturally based DVULI curriculum to help leaders expand or develop the core values of balance, accountability, empowerment, interdependence, leverage, and diversity (working towards a racism-free community). This process helps leaders plan and implement personal, professional and ministry growth more effectively with the youth and the people they serve. Our Mission is to strengthen leaders to transform communities.

Each year groups of leaders come together in one of GRIL’s programs (Adult Breakthrough and Emerge Leadership Programs, Community Leadership Trainings (CLT), and the GRIL U Teen Program) for nine months of intense leadership development training for personal and community impact.

GRIL’s Staff 

  • Denise Fase, CEO
  • Tyreece Guyton, COO


The Micah center

Board of Directors

  • Kenya Brown – Chair
  • Ricardo Rivera – Vice Chair
  • Laurie Zuverink – Secretary
  • Terisa Bennett – Treasurer
  • Ciarra Adkins
  • Geoffrey Beene
  • Andrew Claucherty
  • Tatum Hawkins
  • Tamasha James
  • Kishen Newton