Meet Dr. Justin Gracieux | Founder / CEO
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We had the good fortune of connecting with Dr. Justin Gracieux and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr. Justin, What do you want your legacy to be?
We all want to be remembered for something and to be seen as someone who truly made a difference so here’s a little backstory for starters. Right after I graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2013 I was working for a non-profit as a STEM Project Coordinator tutoring underserved children in Pasadena, California with their science projects alongside a team of scientists from Cal Tech. It wasn’t until we finished working with several 4th and 5th grade science classes one day when I was debriefing my team where I had my first Genesis moment, which I define as the moment God put a vision on my heart, “I’m starting a non-profit of my own one day to give back to my community,” I said to myself. I had zero clue about what it even really meant to work in that sector but one thing was certain, I knew I wanted to help people and continue serving others in need and how that looked I just didn’t know at that time. Seven years later I had my second Genesis moment when I started a non-profit organization out of my bedroom called Oath To Country Foundation (OTCF) after finding out about my grandfather who forged his birth certificate to enlist in the Army in WWII 1945. Simply said, my legacy was found because of his legacy so I set out to give back to my country in fighting the war against suicide across the country for veterans, military and first responders. The Foundation is only 21 months old and its reached people all around the world in an effort to educate on, advocate for, and strengthen mental health for all. The imprint I want to leave in this world is acts of service and helping people will always have a positive ripple effect. It might come in the form of offering a word of faith, giving others a hug or smiling at someone. We all possess the inner-power to make the world a better place but it requires all of us to work for it together. We can’t afford to sit back and hope things will change themselves so it takes you, me, and a collective effort to inspire real change. So what are you waiting for? Go out into the world today and be an agent of change and watch the beauty unfold before you. Along the way you may feel your Genesis moment while serving others, too.
What do you want people to remember about you?
I want be remembered as a God-fearing Christian man, son to two exceptional parents, and oldest brother to two standup men. Remember me as a patriot of this country coming from a long family lines of service members who have gone before me and fighter to save lives from suicide. My parents often remind me to never forget where I came from so I cannot discount the experiences I’ve endured at a young age because it’s been a powerful exploration of who I wanted to become and what defines me today. I’m thankful for the countless sacrifices my parents have made for me since birth so remember those two because without them I wouldn’t be our families first generation college graduate, first generation Master’s graduate, and first generation Doctoral graduate. Every day is a step forward to pay it forward for future generations so I move with intent. I want my children and their children’s children to know that anything in life they set their hearts and minds to is within fingers reach because I’m living proof that all they have to do is take relentless action to reach their dreams. Lastly, I want people to know that you are loved, you are beautiful, you are enough and you will do amazing things in this world so never give up on yourself because people want you to succeed, especially me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’ve been working in the field of health care for 8 years since I graduated from college. I currently work in hospital administration and recently completed my Doctoral degree in Health Care Administration so I’m pursing an executive level position in coming years. I’m emotionally and spiritually connected to my work because it specifically concerns people in need, the sick and elderly. No two days are ever the same in this line of work and you just never know what might be coming at you next so I revert to prayer, education, training, and peers for guidance when the going gets rough. My entire life’s mission is in the service of others so I’m always ready to suit up and show up for others when I get the call. I also operate OTCF as the Founder and President full-time so I have work cut out for me 7 days a week but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If a friend were visiting Los Angeles for the week the first place we’re going to is my parents’ house. You would have to meet them to understand why but they’re such amazing and fun people to be around. They’re something like a mom and dad to all of my friends so I know my friends would want to see them first. Once that’s done, then we’ll hit the road. The first place we’re going to is a local beach to enjoy the sunny and 75 degree Southern California weather over lunch, maybe Newport Beach, Santa Monica, Venice, Redondo Beach, to name a few. Nothing beats the California coastline when you don’t have the luxury of seeing it every day so the beach is a must. Let’s transition out of our beach attire and into something more formal because now we’re going where the big city lights are – Downtown Los Angeles. There are many beautiful roof-top restaurants perched above the city streets with skyline views which makes for a great time with friends, for example, 71 Above, The Rooftop by JG, Spire 73, Perch, The Penthouse at the Huntley Hotel, to name a few. There is so much to see and do all around Los Angeles so consider it an all-immersive weekend road trip.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First and foremost, God, for giving me the strength and wisdom to serve His will. My entire family, the Gracieuxs, Maiwandis and Carrascos. Friends from childhood to college, my girlfriend Melanie, the beautiful strangers I’ve met during my journey that have become family, the entire OTFC Board of Directors Jaclyn Awad Attorney at Law, Eddie Coronado USMC, Eddie Hernandez U.S. Army, Jim Helms U.S. Army and Sandy Sanchez U.S. Navy, and supporters from around the world. Finally, I’d like to give recognition to my grandfather Joe B. Montoya who paved the way for my legacy. His memory and service to our country in the U.S. Army for 14 years will never be forgotten.