Laureate Student Ambassador: Angelica Moncada
When she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, at age 17, Angelica Moncada didn’t have the typical response.
“I felt I was going to fight it and be a survivor since day one,” Moncada said.
Even with her optimism, however, there were days Moncada found more difficult than others.
“Chemotherapy is one of the hardest things you can go through,” she explained, “and sometimes you feel you can’t support yourself. Whenever I felt this way, my family and my boyfriend were there, by my side.”
It was in her chemo treatment she began to notice how kids around her didn’t have the same support as she did.
“I saw how some kids weren’t as fortunate as me. I had my family to comfort me,” said Moncada. “Some kids only had one parent and others had families that lived so far away, they weren’t able to get to the hospital as often as they would have liked.”
That’s when Moncada, only three months into her very own treatment, decided to do something about it. She started ClubAmor, a non-profit that provides material and emotional support to children fighting cancer diagnoses in Hospital Escuela, a public hospital in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
“It [ClubAmor] started out very small, with just my family and close friends. We’d go around and visit with children and just try to make their day,” she said.
Moncada said the main goals for the organization are providing breakfast and lunch, assisting in better hygiene practices, and proving happiness to all cancer patients.
“As patients, we are in the hospital at least eight hours, each day, and we have nothing else to do aside from sitting in a chair, and being hooked up to a machine,” she explained. “ClubAmor was more about a psychological treatment for me. I was seeing the hospital in a different way—not just as a patient. I thought other kids could benefit from this and I could have a way to give back to the institution that gave me so much.”
Today, ClubAmor has over 300 volunteers, from eight private schools and three universities.
Her work with the organization led her to be selected as a YouthActionNet fellow, joining a network of more than 2000 social entrepreneurs around the world. Moncada also pursued marketing and international business at UNITEC Honduras.
“I’ve always loved business and I truly believe business can be a force for good,” said Moncada. “It’s not just about money, income or numbers. It’s a way of actually giving back to society.”
In 2017, Moncada was part of the Atlas Corps Fellowship program and joined the Laureate Communications and Public Affairs team, which supports Laureate’s network awards, social impact, and B Corp network integration. She is one of six student ambassadors selected to represent Laureate at B Corp’s Champions Retreat in Los Angeles, last month.
“It was a great experience,” she recalled. “I got to meet Jay Coen Gilbert, one of the cofounders of B Lab. He was also diagnosed with cancer and we bonded over how his family’s support got him through chemotherapy. Being able to compare stories and experiences, like Jay’s, and meeting other social entrepreneurs was something valuable to me.”
While Moncada is no longer in charge of ClubAmor she is keeping herself busy. She is actively pursuing her MBA. She serves as the coordinator for HUB, the entrepreneurship space at UNITEC, and is a professor of entrepreneurship.
“It is kind of funny that I am only a few years older than most of my students, but I enjoy inspiring them to believe in themselves,”she said with a smile.
Having achieved many things in a short period, Moncada doesn’t have a set plan. She does know, however, that she would like to work with children and be the CEO of a non-profit soon.
“I have never looked at any part of my life, especially right after my diagnosis, and asked ‘why did this happen to me?” Instead, I asked, ‘what should I take from this?” and that has been the driving force for me. I may not be able to list specific goals at this moment, but I know I will work hard to make all of my dreams come true.”