Alumnae Spotlight is a blog that showcases amazing Laurel women and the paths they have charted since graduation.
Whether entrepreneurs, doctors, scientists, teachers, designers, artists, engineers, authors, lawyers, pharmacists, civic activists or volunteers, Laurel women inhabit nearly all careers and corners of the world helping to make it a better place.
Our alumnae and the journeys that they have taken speak to the essence of a Laurel education and what makes this School and the community of women who call it their own distinctive. This space highlights their fascinating lives and the mountains they continue to move.
If you would like to be featured in our Alumnae Spotlight, or know of an alumna who might, please email Megan Findling.
When Gloria Aponte Clarke ’87 was a senior majoring in biology at St. Lawrence University and applying to medical schools, she quickly realized that her passion was in preventing illness and not treating illness.That led to a pivot to public health and a master’s in the field from the University of Michigan.Now, as a Senior Program Officer for Maine Community Foundation (MaineCF), whose mission is to increase the quality of life for all Maine People, Gloria providesfunding to nonprofit organizations and partners with them to promote and broaden their work. “Public health data shows many inequities in our society and it’s in MaineCF’s mission to address these inequities,” she explains. “In 2020, we granted over $50 million dollars of grants in Maine. Our COVID-19 response was integral to our mission of ‘improving the quality of life for all Maine People’ and led to advocating for BIPOC-led organizations during the height of the pandemic.” Read on to learn how teachers at Laurel had an impact on her life—from getting her American citizenship to developing her interest in nature to teaching her how to take notes and write papers; her work as a leader in MaineCF’s racial equity work; what it’s like being an open water swimmer in Maine; and which is her favorite thing about Maine—lobsters or blueberries.