Spotlight: María Gabriela Hoch

María Gabriela Hoch,a longtime Vital Voices network member and head of the Vital Voices Argentina Chapter, participated in the Global Ambassadors Program in South Africa in 2012. An Argentine social entrepreneur currently living in Miami, María Gabriela is the co-founder and CEO of International Doorway, an organization based in Miami that offers academic and athletic scholarships for international students to study at American universities.

In South Africa, María Gabriela was paired with Ann Veneman, former executive director of UNICEF. Ann encouraged María Gabriela to define her goals and challenges and helped her systematically think through them in the short, medium and long term.

Since 2012, María Gabriela has grown in her career and continues to tackle new challenges. In her five years as head of the Vital Voices Argentina Chapter, more than 3,000 young women have received leadership training, and over 500 emerging leaders have participated in the Chapter’s mentoring programs. The Chapter now counts 8,000 women in their network and recently established a committee of women’s journalists to work together to bring visibility to gender issues. Since María Gabriela founded International Doorway in 1997, more than 10,000 students have received scholarships to attend universities in America.

As an internationally recognized mentoring and empowerment expert, María Gabriela is currently writing a book about her experience promoting women’s leadership. She hopes to publish in 2015.

María Gabriela said the Global Ambassadors Program has immeasuarable value.“Having a mentor who guides you, helps you organize your professional challenges and hears your ideas and suggestions is incredibly useful.”