Raquel Toledo

A mentor who empowers young women

Age: 39

Title: Founder

Name of Organization: A Gift Of Value

Bio: Adversity has challenged Raquel Toledo to live a bold and purposeful life. Her passion to live life without regrets drove her to become a counselor, teacher, motivational speaker and the eventual founder of A Gift Of Value.

Launched in 2013, A Gift Of Value is a nonprofit that teaches, mentors and empowers girls, teens and women to value themselves, to embrace good morals, to overcome obstacles, and to influence their communities in meaningful ways. The goal of A Gift Of Value is that every young lady understands the importance of nurturing her inner beauty while building character. The nonprofit has formed key partnerships with churches, schools and colleges to distribute educational resources and organize events, retreats and seminars.

A proud first-generation college graduate, Toledo received her undergraduate degree in education from Northeastern Illinois University. She also holds a master’s degree in human services and counseling from DePaul University and a second master’s degree in intercultural and urban studies from Moody Theological Seminary in Chicago.

Toledo completed an internship at the YWCA counseling sexual assault survivors and wrote a thesis that included qualitative research on the issue of domestic violence and the church. This work led to the development of Life Savers Academy, a campaign that raises awareness about domestic violence through workshops and seminars.

Toledo’s passion for teaching has taken her across the United States and the world as a guest speaker for teachings, workshops and conferences.