Equipping Transformative Leaders
Founder of Iskali
Big Shoulders Fund, Iskali
Passionate about helping young Latinos find success through community empowerment and leadership development, Vicente Del Real has made a significant impact on Chicago’s Hispanic community.
Vicente immigrated to Chicago from Zacatecas, Mexico with his family when he was fifteen, experiencing firsthand the struggles and challenges that young immigrants face, including being undocumented.
Right after college, Vicente became a community organizer as part of a core team of organizers that worked to pass the Illinois state law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver licenses. This gave more than 250,000 immigrants the opportunity to drive legally here in Illinois. Vicente became a DACA recipient in 2012, allowing him to more fully integrate and contribute to this country.
Currently, Vicente works for Big Shoulders Fund where he helps to reach out to the families in the Latino community offering them a quality, values-based education within the Big Shoulders Fund networks of schools across Chicago. Big Shoulders Fund serves 20,000 students in 72 schools in the Chicago region, this network of schools is an important resource for students and Chicago communities.
At the age of twenty Vicente founded Iskali, a nonprofit organization that exists to empower and equip young Latinos to become transformative leaders.
Vicente started Iskali as a resource and place of community for young Latinos. Over the past ten years Iskali has been able to impact the lives of over 1,500 young Latinos who have benefited from the organization’s many programs including retreats, small-group communities, leadership development, mentorship, scholarships, a formative podcast, and volunteer opportunities.
He also owns Huarachi LLC, which is a fair-trade brand of traditional Mexican Huaraches and accessories made by local artisans in Mexico. Through this socially responsible business Vicente helps provide jobs to around ten families in Mexico that are supported by single mothers, many times victims of domestic violence.
Vicente is currently finishing his Master’s degree in Pastoral Studies from the Catholic Theological Union where he was awarded the Romero Scholarship.
Words of wisdom: “Our biggest responsibility is to embody the transformation we want to see in the world, and our greatest adventure is to constantly reinvent and rebuild ourselves.”