In belated honor of International Day of the Girl, we hope you will join us this evening for a special Sperker Series event. We are delighted to invite the founder of Gracia, Clare Kunkel to share more about the process of launching this multifaceted endeavor. Please find more info on Clare below. In addition, Clare welcomes Elida Aguilar and Yasmin Osorio to share their stories and how they came to be a part of the Gracia program in Guatemala. Yasmin and Elida will be accompanied by translator, Claudia Melendez Oliveros.
Gracia’s mission is to economically empower young women in Guatemala. Economic empowerment is more than a paycheck: it means young women can earn income and possess both the confidence and independence needed to make financial decisions.
Clare Johnston Kunkel
Clare is committed to helping disadvantaged Guatemalan girls and women achieve economic independence and create lives defined by confidence and success. Clare oversees the US day-to-day operations of the Gracia program, as well as design and distribution of Milagros products. Clare began working at the Casa Hogar in 2007, and served as the director of Program and Development for HEAR Foundation from 2009-2012.
In 2012, Clare redefined the Milagros program and established Gracia as an independent entity. Under her direction, the original program has grown from teaching young women basic sewing skills to design development and comprehensive business skills training. Clare is a proud, native Chicagoan. When she is not in Guatemala, she can be found running by the lake, riding her bike, or walking her dogs in Lincoln Park.