UQ alumnus Clarissa Rios is working to champion economic empowerment in developing countries. She is a UN Women’s Empower Women Global Champion and founded Ekpapalek, a not-for-profit that seeks to empower Latin American professionals. Clarissa discusses how UQ and specifically the ilab at UQ program helped shape her journey.
Have you ever wondered how much professional talent is wasted in developing countries? I have, and I’m working to change it.
I feel very connected and responsible for the social issues happening in so-called "developing countries". I come from a low-income family in Peru, so I know about the limitations for pursuing your academic dreams when you have no money or support network to help you to achieve your goals.
I overcame my initial lack of opportunities by empowering myself through education, working hard and being persistent about my goals. Although I could overcome these problems, that is not the case for millions of young students and professionals in Peru. Lack of money and opportunities for professional development are still big problems in Latin America. So, in order to provide a solution to these problems, I started Ekpapalek, a non-profit social enterprise that seeks to empower Latin American professionals.