Isabella Grado

Nothing but You, O Lord.

Where I serve

After serving in the Sooner State my first year, God called me 12 hours closer to home to serve college students at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK). I’m thrilled to return to UTK to serve as team director! I have a pretty cool story about how Jesus has changed my life — I think you should hear it sometime! Come find me and I’d love to share it with you. 🙂

My Story

I’m extremely blessed to come from a family that embraces our Catholic faith as part of our identity and one of my greatest joys is sharing this faith with others. I guess you could say I’ve been a missionary since I was ten years old, because I remember sharing the Gospel with my non-Catholic friends during our playdates. Now I get to do it for a full time job!

For my undergraduate studies, I attended the University of Virginia (UVa) in Charlottesville, Virginia, graduating with a major in Classics with a concentration in Latin and a minor in Biology. When I arrived at UVa, I knew that the only thing that would keep me grounded during my college transition was my faith. However, I knew Who Jesus was, but I didn’t know I was meant to have a relationship with Him. While serving on a FOCUS mission trip in Rome during the spring of my second year at UVa, I encountered Jesus as the Son of God, Who died for my sins because He loves me beyond all imagining. When I returned to Grounds, I had a fire to spread His love and the joy it brings by introducing my peers to the life-changing message of the Gospel. In His ministry on earth, Jesus humbled Himself to meet us on our level, taking on our humanity, and spent most of His time investing deeply in a few. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few” (Mt 9:37). He has called me to live radically as one of His laborers at the University of Tennessee and I can’t wait see the ways He blesses this campus with abundant graces.

Your Impact

When I answered the call to join FOCUS, I made the decision to rely on the spiritual and financial support of mission partners to help me through this mission. Mother Teresa said, “some people go by giving and some give by going…without both the mission is impossible.” Your way to participate in this mission is through your prayers and financial support.


Team UTK (left to right): Ava Keating, Connery VanDyke, myself, Andrew O’Quinn, and Father Rich (chaplain).

Prayers are essential to the success of this mission. Jesus Himself spent 40 days in the desert before beginning His three years of ministry. Please pray for me, my teammates, our chaplain, and the students of UTK. I’ve been blessed with the most amazing mentors who have journeyed with me as I serve on campus.

If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know of the best way to reach you and I will schedule an appointment. I’d be honored to share this mission with you. Thank you!

(571) 246-0080

[email protected]


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