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Catalina Escobar: 12 Who Made a Difference in Central Mass in 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

 

Catalina Escobar, a 1993 graduate of Clark University, was honored as one of CNN's Top 10 "Heroes" of 2012 for her work with impoverished teenage girls in the slums of Cartagena, Colombia.

Escobar had built a successful international trading company, but after volunteering at one of Cartagena's largest hospitals, her life path would change forever.

Escobar's own son, Juan Felipe, died from an accident at the age of 14 months when he tragically fell from a balcony. Broken hearted, Escobar decided to take action, so that no mother would have to feel the grief she had.

Escobar sold her company and founded the Juan Felipe Escobar Foundation to bring health care to the young mothers and children of Cartagena.

But Escobar's work was not finished. In Columbia, nearly 20 percent of all girls between 15 and 19 years of age have been pregnant once, more than three times the rate of the United States. This leads to young girls dropping out of school and, eventually, becoming pregnant again.

She began raising money to build a social center. A place young mothers could go, drop off their children, and learn valuable skills.

 

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