Marguerite Barland ’60 Merit Award

Congratulations to our 2024 recipient, Candace Chance ’10, M.A.C.S. ’12

Since 2015, the Marguerite Barland ’60 Merit Award has been presented annually in honor and celebration of our first African American graduate, Marguerite Barland. This annual award celebrates one or more alumnae/i who in her or his professional and private life has significantly contributed to the diversity of our campus community through leadership—as a mentor, role model, volunteer, or philanthropic supporter of the college. Throughout their life, this individual will have exemplified Goucher’s Community Principles—respect, inclusion, communication, service and social justice, and responsibility—and by doing so, they will have enhanced and inspired our community.

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2024 Marguerite Barland ’60 Merit Award Recipient

Candace Chance

Candace Chance is a Baltimore-born entrepreneur with Guyanese roots who is passionate about purpose-driven work. She learned the importance of being active in her community from her parents, while also being groomed in entrepreneurship through selling candy and snacks from her home, school, bowling alleys, and skating rinks. It was this combination of faith, grit, hustle, and community-centeredness that became catalytic forces for her.

Chance attended Baltimore City College High School and Goucher College, where she majored in biology and received an M.A. in cultural sustainability. She traveled abroad, studying marine biology in Honduras and Australia. In both places, she witnessed the interconnection between nature, culture, and society, and how marginalized communities suffer the most from environmental and social injustices. She consistently met leaders locally and abroad who dedicated their lives to improving their communities, but she saw how many of them struggled with burnout, illness, and frustration, sometimes barely moving the needle. 

Chance was fascinated with the natural world but was more intrigued with how insights from natural ecosystems could be applied to scaling positive impact. After several years of navigating the politics of internal nonprofit operations and the philanthropic sector, she decided to chart her own course in 2015. She and other grassroots leaders piloted the Baltimore Collaboration Lab (B’more Co-Lab) to experiment with collaboration methods to advance each other’s work. Leading this initiative allowed Chance to see, grow, and refine her natural inclination toward strategy and systems thinking, getting first-hand insight into why many purpose-driven leaders struggle to see transformative outcomes.

After sunsetting the initiative, she helped establish and became the founding board chair of BCIITY (Baltimore City Intergenerational Initiative for Trauma & Youth). Within her five-year tenure, BCIITY disseminated over $3.5 million to over 60 grassroots organizations (many of whom were a part of the B’more Co-Lab initiative). During this time, Chance founded the V.P.I. Firm (Vision, Performance & Impact), a strategic consulting firm that helps impact-driven leaders and teams make the unprecedented possible. With a diverse team of consultants, optimized by dynamic technology, VPI helps startups, organizations, and collectives nationally and internationally navigate the complexities of bringing large scale visions to life through a range of strategic planning and execution offerings.

Now in a consultant capacity, Chance has helped BCIITY raise nearly $2 million within five months and is currently leading the organization’s creation of a community-owned data cooperative. In 2021, she was named one of The Daily Record’s Leading Women 40 under 40, as well as the 2022 recipient of the first Harriet Tubman Freedom award. Other volunteer work includes sitting on the board of Maryland’s Pennsylvania Avenue Black Arts & Entertainment District in West Baltimore and a member of the advisory committee for CLLCTIVLY.