Claudia Jones’ journey to becoming a champion for gender education and equity has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows, but it’s led her to becoming a source of inspiration for women around the world. After growing up in a small town in Mexico, Jones received a scholarship to move to New York City and attend Manhattanville College. She took the skills and knowledge gained in college back home with an entrepreneurial spirit. Claudia began to create businesses, but after a rocky season, she lost them. At one of the lowest points in her life, Claudia made a choice to keep moving forward.
“I decided to take control of my life. That’s why I strongly believe that, through education and empowering women, we can achieve great things,” Claudia said.
Claudia moved to Alaska in 2015 with her husband after supporting gender equity for Latinos at Utah State University for several years. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and teaching at University of Alaska Anchorage/Mat-Su College, Claudia’s newest home became the foundation of MORE — Mindfulness, Opportunities, Resilience, Equity — Latinoamérica a free and virtual education resource for Spanish speakers to help bridge the gap of gender equity and development for women, created with her co-founder Raysa Castillo. To date, Claudia has reached more than 20,000 Latinas worldwide through MORE Latinoamérica.
Claudia uses MORE to offer women a variety of programming and topics to choose from, like emotional intelligence, nutrition, homeschooling, marketing, leadership, self-esteem, business, assertive communication, social entrepreneurship, personal finance, empowerment, gender equality, recognizing gender violence and more. She says that her objective is to develop women’s potential, self-confidence, leadership and an entrepreneurial attitude that will allow them to become professionals and more capable of creating positive impacts for themselves and others.
Claudia Parker, a close friend and MORE collaborator, said, “Her way to create a net of relationships is just natural to her, and when someone is in need, she is the first one to ask: ‘If I can help you, let me know,’ standing by with more than moral support.”
“Her experience as a digital nomad for so many years opened up her desire to promote gender equality through education, and even when some didn’t see it as clear as her, she was convinced to take the knowledge out of the classrooms and bring it out to the web for every woman, and her nonprofit was born,” Parker added. “I am more than her close friend and collaborator, I am one of many thousands of women around the world that has been blessed with free classes in a variety of subjects in the comfort of my own home. The pandemic kept us in quarantine but MORE kept us growing and learning about everything.”
Living in a small town in Alaska initially made the idea of creating a nonprofit for Latinas seem impossible, but Jones made her dream come true through grit and determination. In 2022 alone, Claudia received tremendous recognition for her dedication to help women advance their education and equality. She was an Alaskan honoree for USA TODAY’s Women of the Year, received the 2022 Alaska Mother of the Year award, and was recognized as a Points of Light Inspiration Spotlight.
“I’ve been very lucky since I was able to have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and now I’m a PhD candidate,” Claudia said. “Many Spanish-speaking women living in the United States or Latin America don’t have access to quality and accessible education, which is why I decided to found MORE Latinoamérica.”
Since its creation, MORE has a virtual presence in 11 countries, including the United States, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Spain and Venezuela.
Throughout the year, Claudia offers training to women on a multitude of accessible platforms so that MORE knowledge and education can be easily accessible, like online masterclasses and leadership courses, articles, motivational videos, Instagram interviews, podcasts and more. Through these platforms, Claudia has created a virtual support network of changemakers for women. MORE has more than 120 collaborators — including lawyers, entrepreneurs, doctors, teachers, psychologists, architects, engineers and at-home parents — 90% of them are women helping other women.
Claudia gains strength to keep working by the messages MORE receives daily from people who are grateful to receive free, quality education. Women who have participated in MORE testify that through the workshops and skills gained, they feel prepared to face professional challenges from a global perspective, are able to build their self-esteem and have discovered inner potential in areas they never anticipated.
With MORE, Claudia learned that there are more good people than bad people in the world and that MORE volunteers serve because they also want a better world. She’s also discovered the importance of sisterhood.
“If we all support each other, we will have a world with less inequality,” Claudia said. “If we all volunteer, that snowball will grow and will mainly benefit those around us and, later, our community.”
Do you want to make a difference in your community like Claudia? Find local volunteer opportunities.