In honor of Black History Month, the Frederick County Office of Economic Development will highlight influential Black business leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs in the Frederick County community.
For Priscilla Myles, the founder of Myles Per Grace Home Care Providers, caregiving has always been a part of her life.
Growing up, Priscilla’s parents, faith, and personal experiences all taught her that serving others is truly a blessing. Her father, a funeral home director (and now owner), was in the ministry of consolation, helping people at the end of life and in the grieving process. Her parents always encouraged her to volunteer and serve others, instilling in her to give rather than receive.
As a teenager, Priscilla gained caregiving experience through helping out her neighbor, who needed respite care for his wife, a stroke victim who was homebound. So, Priscilla and her sister both offered respite care so that he could leave the house and run errands as needed.
Then, when Priscilla was in college, her mother was diagnosed with muscular sclerosis. It was a shock for the family to see her mother’s rapid loss of mobility and the pain level that came with the disease. Caring for her mother after her muscular sclerosis diagnosis helped Priscilla understand the powerful impact of a home care agency on a patient’s quality of life. This experience would later be catalytic to creating her own home care agency, Myles Per Grace, ten years later.
From college onward, Priscilla explored the healthcare industry in various capacities. In 2011, she received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Fisk University. In 2013, she received her Master of Science in Public Health from Meharry Medical College, an institution that emphasized serving the underserved. Priscilla worked in public health, doing community-based participatory research in underserved communities, researching health disparities, and creating programs for communities of color. This influenced Priscilla to want to work in the government as a public health analyst.
She later got a healthcare research internship position at a private company in South Florida. Eventually, she took a Health Policy Fellow position at the Health Resources & Services Administration in Rockville, Maryland. In 2015, she officially transitioned into federal employment, where she worked on projects to “improve health outcomes and address health disparities through access to quality services, a skilled health workforce, and innovative, high-value programs.”
Priscilla shares that while she knew she was supporting a greater cause in her government position, ultimately, sitting behind the desk wasn’t as rewarding as doing grassroots work in the community. The spark of entrepreneurship had always been resting in her, and in 2016, she took the leap to start Myles Per Grace, which eventually became Myles Per Grace Home Care Providers in 2018.
Myles Per Grace Home Care Providers’ mission is to extend a helping hand to anyone in need -- whether that’s private-paying clients or those eligible for Medicaid. They specialize in respite care, personal care, companionship and home helping, and aiding babies and mothers. Priscilla’s public health background is influential in how she runs her business -- both in her relationships with staff and potential clients, taking into account health disparities or inequities.
Growing up, she was surrounded by successful role models and business owners of color. Priscilla had a mentor when she first started her business, and this mentorship helped her take the leap of faith to pursue entrepreneurship. Her mentor, Mrs. Barnett, was a former CEO that Priscilla knew from her church and was a source of light and inspiration. Mrs. Barnett was always a phone call away and gave her marketing advice and tips to grow her business.
When asked about facing racial inequities as a Black business owner, Priscilla acknowledges that there may have been disadvantages. To Priscilla, success depends on the spirit to persevere, excellent customer service, and a great product. Priscilla prides herself on running a business committed to service, compassion, and the highest ethics of care.
For those looking to start a business, Priscilla shares the following words of advice:
“You’re never too young to dream something big. I remember when I told people [at my last job] that I would be leaving soon. People would say, ‘You’re going to leave something secure?’ That’s what faith is -- you believe in the unseen and work towards your dream. If God gave it to you, you still have to work towards the vision, pursue it, and don’t give up. There will be obstacles and there will be naysayers, but the vision has to come to pass. Take advantage of the resources within your County. And persist! I’ve heard the saying, ‘The start stops most.’ A lot of people have great ideas but don’t do them. Once you get over the internal barrier to getting started, there’s really no limit. I could say the sky’s the limit, but people are surpassing the sky!”
As a mother of a 19-month-old, Priscilla shares that having the support of her husband and family and friends, has been incredibly important to growing her business. However, for those who don’t have that kind of support, she wants to remind them that there are ways to get support.
Outside of her business, Priscilla teaches and is launching a health and wellness auxiliary at her church, takes classes to help her continue expanding her skills as a business owner, and creates YouTube videos to uplift and encourage others. You can visit her YouTube channel here: Myles Per Grace
Myles Per Grace Home Care Providers Website: https://www.mylespergrace.com
Phone Number: (240) 815-1809
Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org