Alum Receives “Women of Peace” Award
Vanessa Ferrer

(Nov. 14, 2017) – USF St. Petersburg Alum Vanessa Ferrer received an annual “Women of Peace” award for co-founding and co-directing a non-profit that provides opportunities for higher education to impoverished, indigenous women in Guatemala. The non-profit, Para Adelante, provides college scholarships that cover the cost for books/supplies, childcare and transportation, in addition to tuition and fees.

Ferrer received her MBA from USFSP in 2014. In 2013, she participated in a study abroad course in Guatemala taught by Dr. Karin Braunsberger. The course, Social Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets, has students working with local, indigenous women-owned cooperatives to develop business and marketing strategies. The students spent the better part of a week assisting two co-ops run by local women, including a weaving co-op, Manos Especiales, composed of mothers who have at least one special needs child. Students gained valuable experiential learning opportunities, provided small business consulting for remote Guatemalan co-ops and got a chance to make an impact on the local community. This experience inspired Ferrer to start Para Adelante..

The award, given by the Women’s Peace Power Foundation, goes to women involved in grassroots projects that are working to bring peace to the everyday lives of women and their families. Ferrer received the award during a ceremony on November 4 in Tampa, FL.