Home News Claribel Bocanegra Named Gulfshore Life’s Woman of the Year for Gemstone Initiative

Claribel Bocanegra Named Gulfshore Life’s Woman of the Year for Gemstone Initiative

by Madonna

Fort Myers, FL – Claribel Bocanegra, the visionary behind Gemstones in the Making, has been recognized as Woman of the Year by Gulfshore Life for her unwavering commitment to supporting young girls in the community. Drawing from her own teenage struggles, Bocanegra empowers these girls with gemstones and positive affirmations, fostering a stronger sense of self.

“The stronger sense of self that we have, the more confident we walk in life,” explains Bocanegra, whose mission is to instill confidence in young minds through her initiative.


Bocanegra carefully selects positive affirmations such as “miracle,” “faith,” “fearless,” and “blessed,” which are then placed on elastic bracelets. These bracelets serve as daily reminders of the girls’ greatness and potential, providing a boost during challenging times.


Engaging with a group known as the Dunbar Diamonds, Bocanegra conducts sessions once or twice a month, where she imparts essential life skills. Her primary goal is to ensure that these young girls understand that they have a supportive community that is dedicated to elevating and providing resources for their journey.


The Dunbar Diamonds, participants in the international baccalaureate program at Dunbar High School, receive tools for stress management and success, including meditation, journaling, and time management skills.

Destinee Johnson, a senior at Dunbar High School, expresses gratitude for Bocanegra’s impact, stating, “She’s just amazing. She’s always here and hugs us. It makes my day better.”

Cynthia Mauvas, another senior at Dunbar High School, highlights the importance of having someone who understands and motivates them, reflecting on Bocanegra’s genuine support.

Bocanegra, who moved to Fort Myers from Puerto Rico at the age of 16, empathizes with the struggles these teenagers face. Drawing from her own experiences, she provides mentorship, encouragement, and empowerment to fill the void she felt during her own adolescence.

Gemstones in the Making aims to expand its reach to more schools, with plans to include Lehigh Senior. Additionally, the initiative provides scholarships for students who are immigrants and do not qualify for financial aid. Bocanegra’s vision is to plant the seeds of confidence and empowerment, much like flowers blossoming into full bloom.


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