Raquel Toledo - Family/Youth

Chicago, Illinois

For over 20 yrs Raquel has given back to the community by volunteering, counseling & coordinating events making a difference in youth that have been bullied, rejected, mistreated, abused, oppressed & sexually assaulted. She also speaks & facilitates trainings against Domestic Violence and Healthy Relationships. She has traveled across the US, & internationally through mission trips to Guatemala, Panama, Cuba, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Venezuela serving as keynote & guest speaker. She’s currently a Section Leader at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL , an Academic Advisor at Morton College for over 11 yrs & has served as an educator in Chicago Public Schools, theological institutes & local churches. She’s held local, district & Regional Board positions in many organizations. Founding A Gift of Value in 2013 allows her to raise awareness about self-worth, respect & self-confidence & to partner with churches & schools to empower 1000’s by nurturing their inner beauty, restoring their heart & transforming their mind. She holds a BA in Education from Northeastern Illinois University. A Masters degree in Human Services & Counseling from DePaul in Chicago. She has a theological diploma from Ebenezer Bible Institute & a second Masters in Intercultural & Urban studies from Moody Theological Seminary in Chicago.

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24 Comments
Pastor Marlene Encarnacion

Raquel te felicito por la oportunidad que Dios te da en brillar junto con 99 lideres mas en este evento. Raquel como lider eres tremenda de ti aprendi la puntualidad y la exactitud anticipada de los eventos. Raquel eres una lider con valores siempre estas ayudando al mas necesitado. No te limitas en tu Ministerio y vas a donde Dios te lleva, asi como vinistes a mi pais en Panama en la selva del Darien para bendecir a esta gente linda como lo son los indigenas Embera- Wounaan. Raquel es unanlider determinada y decisiva mo se rinde ante lis obstaculos siempre prosigue llegar a la.meta y son cualidades de un buen lider. Raquel eres especial y se que vas a llegar a mucho mas de tus espectativas porque Dios tiene planes grandes contigo.

June 05 at 1:15 AM
Silvia Cruz

There are some people that come into your life, even if for a season and turn your world upside down creating changes you thought could never be possible. They make life better. They encourage you to be greater and motivate you to go higher. Raquel has been that person in my life. Not only is she a go getter and an outstanding person but she has an enormous heart. That's what I most admire about her. Yes, she has a great background in education and a huge background in ministry but what I find most important is that she has this incredible passion to serve and help those that surround her. I stand among all these people to give her thanks and to let everyone know why Raquel is already number one to us all.

June 03 at 2:22 PM
Helen V.

Rachel has been a huge influence in my life. Words cannot even begin to express who she was to me during her leadership as my youth leader and after. When I met Rachel I was a young girl from a broken home who attended church sparingly due to transportation and family problems. However she reached out to me and pursued me in a way that I can only describe as divine intervention in my youth. I could have easily followed the lead of the inner city youth. But she never gave up on me. She picked me up for services and she was literally the godly woman influence that I needed in my life during the most crucial time of any young woman's life. When I messed up, she didn't turn her back on me instead she called, she prayed, she inspired me with the word of God. She has no idea what she means to me and what her Jesus-like love towards me meant to my future and the woman I would become. I pray to be at the very least a bit like her. To be able to love on those in uncanny circumstances. To be like Jesus to those who feel invincible. For the 16 years I've known Rachel, she has always been a model Christian woman. God has not finished his work in her and I can't even imagine what He has in store for her. It's amazing to see what God has done in her life before my eyes; youth member, youth leader, district leader, high school teacher, bible institute student, bible institute teacher, college counselor, missionary, seminary graduate, and now founder of a Gift of Value, a nonprofit organization.

June 02 at 9:46 PM
Jarixon Medina

Raquel has been an amazing person to look up to.and anyone who she comes across with their life will be impacted. I remember in our years of serving together the impact that she has made in the life's of others. Also when we were both in bible institute she has a passion and such a love for the word of God that is admirable. I'm so happy for her in this great accomplishment. She is truly an inspiration and a sample to follow. What an amazing story! God continue to bless her in all she does.

June 02 at 4:05 PM
Pastor Miguel Palma

John Maxwell define el liderazgo como influencia, y eso es lo que Raquel Toledo ha generado a través de una trayectoria impecable su preparación academico/secular y Teológica le han dado a travez de los años de servicio en pro de sus semejantes la autoridad moral, profesional y espiritual de influenciar poderosamente he impactar su generación como modelo de superación, tenacidad, excelencia, honestidad, humildad y sensibilidad a las demandas sociales, familiares, espirituales y culturales de Nuestra Comunidad, creando, edificando y fortaleciendo la organización Un Regalo de Valor qué bajo su atinada dirección revalora el papel fundamental de la mujer en la sociedad de éste siglo, la empodera, la capacita, la orienta, la confronta, la motiva, y le provee las herramientas para alcanzar su máximo nivel en sus diferentes roles, haciendo de ellas líderes poderosas en sus familias, en sus centros de trabajo, en sus iglesias, en su comunidad y por ende en esta ciudad y en esta Nación, sin dejar a un lado la reeducacion del verdadero papel del hombre frente a la mujer, es un privilegio el pode conocer y beneficiarme como varón de la Organización un Regalo de Valor de Raquel Toledo, gracias por influenciar poderosamente nuestras vidas y nuestros Ministerios. Att. Pastor Miguel Palma Iglesia Monte de Sión.

May 31 at 7:43 PM
Pastor Karen Palma Mt. Sinai Church in Chicago, IL

When we honor God with our lives God always honors us in return. It is truly an honor for me to speak in regards to Raquel Toledo. I Had the privilege to see Raquel at work making a difference in the lives of the youth and adult ministries at New Vision Comunion Church. I witnessed upfront how she strived to give God the excellence in all she did. A women of great character a woman of faith a strong leader in the comunity making a difference in the lives of everyone that has the great honor to know and work with her. I just attended one of her confrences on domestic violance awarness for pastors and church leaders and I was overwhelmed by the knowledge and great resources she had for everyone present. My heart was filled with such joy to see that someone was standing up and making pastors aware of these situations in the body of Christ and teaching us the proper way to assist our members. As pastors these workshops are of great value to us and I am pleased that she has stood up as a women of God to answer to the call as a strong leader in our comunity and I know we will continue to see and hear of the great things God will continue to do through her leadership.

May 31 at 6:32 PM
Ruby Dejesus

Raquel has inspired me in tremendous ways. She has a beautiful heart and enjoys helping others. Raquel's passion and kindness has impact many people around the world. She is a wonderful listener, she speaks words of wisdom and always communicates in positive ways. Personally I have known Raquel for about 14 years now, I have been through different situations in life where I question myself and feel as if I can't move on. Raquel has been there for me through happiness and sadness, she has always been available to meet or even talk over the phone. I am blessed to be able to share my experience with Raquel as she's always been a amazing woman and role model in my life.

May 31 at 5:49 PM
Elizabeth

Raquel has been there for me during the hardest times of my life. When my family had an accident and my sister suffered brain injuries, she was there. After my brother's death while my family was in Puerto Rico, it was Raquel and her sister who were there for me and helped me planned the arrangements. As a leader she always made sure I went to youth camps and conventions with AJEC even if she had to drive me there. In the bible institute we worked together to organize different activities. Raquel is compassionate and kind two traits that make a good leader an Excellent one. I will forever be thankful to her for everything this wonderful woman of God has done for me and my family.

May 31 at 10:04 AM
Shirley Hernandez

I am honored to be able to speak on behalf of my sister in Christ Raquel Toledo, who in the last couple of years of knowing her and following her work and ministry, has inspired me tremendously and has served as a catalyst to awaken many dreams in my heart that God has placed which are directly linked to the area of ministry she is already highly, gifted, experienced and fruitful in, women's ministry. I consider her a role model for myself and for everyone who meets her. She is a natural leader and she makes it easy to follow her because she leads by example. She has influenced me with her drive, her determination, her pursuit of excellence, her passion and most importantly, her compassion for the masses, to be able to see the deep need in others through Jesus' eyes but not to only be a bystander, but to actually take on the burden, get her hands dirty, come down to their level and demonstrate Christ's love and lead the way to freedom, confidence and purpose in tangible and effective ways. I look forward to continuing to partner with her in the amazing projects God has placed in her hands and to continue learning from her.

May 30 at 11:08 PM
Ramon Alicea Broker Golden Key Realty

Raquel has been an inspiration to me and my family ever since we met her as a young lady. She worked for me at that time. She was a leader even then. I have seen her grow from a young high school student, to a teacher in High School, to a teacher at a Bible Institute, to a counselor at a College, to a leader in her church, to a Missionary, to a founder of "A gift of value" a not for profit organization. Raquel is a great example to everyone who has have the opportunity to meet her. I always admire the way she continues doing more and more to improve the life of others. For Raquel there are no limits and when you think she has done it all, she has new plans to continue helping others. God has many plans for Raquel. He has opened and will continue to open new doors for her ministry

May 30 at 12:32 PM
Amarilys Ramos

I met Raquel at New Vision Community Church. i am a witness to her hard work and dedication. She is a person who loves to give God her best and serve His people with excellence. it doesn't matter if she's ministering to multitudes as in her many missionary trips or if she ministers to a small Church in a suburban area, she puts her heart and soul in everything she does. She has worked hard to get where she is and God's favor is with her. I know God will continue to open doors for this lady. I certainly thank God for allowing me to be blessed by her ministry and foundation.

May 29 at 11:55 PM
Nancy Cruz

You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. My dear cousin I have been a witness to your hard work and dedication. You have given your all to help many people in need as well as myself. There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you're committed to something you accept no excuses and only results and this is why your vision in helping woman in need is coming to flourish. You have a very big heart and I'm very proud of what you have done in your lifetime. You deserve this and more. Thank you!

May 28 at 8:48 PM
Shariliz Martínez, MSW

I met Raquel 14 years ago when my parents were her pastors at a church she attended in Chicago. I was 13 years old. Since then, besides developing a friendship, Raquel has always been a good example and role model in my life. Not only has she impacted my life as a Christian but she has also helped me in different areas of my life including a couple of personal and emotional crises. I've seen her passion for God and her passion to help others and give back to the community. I've enjoyed being part of her team for the organization, A Gift of Value , that she leads and I have been able to learn a lot from her.

May 27 at 4:27 PM
David Buchanan MD MPH

Mrs Raquel Toledo is well know to us for her outstanding work with youth, couples, families, and overseas mission work. She is very dedicated to ministry and helping people to build strong relationships that reflect the love of God in their lives. She is very experienced organizing, leading, and directing events for women, youth, couples, families, and mission trips. My wife and I have had the opportunity and privilege to participate in workshops and mission trips with her. We have observed first hand her skills as she plans and organizes events. She is an inspiration, role-model, and example of a servant-leader. We have observed her interactions with others, her empathy with them, how she is able to motive people to participate and encourage them in their struggles and relationships. God bless you, Raquel, you deserve this honor, and we wish the best for you!

May 27 at 4:07 PM
Dr. Maribel Lopez

I am EXCITED and HONORED to be writing on behalf of my friend and sister in Christ. God has truly blessed me with such a passionate and dedicated soul. In the short period of time I have known Mrs. Toledo she has impacted not only my life but also the life of my two beautiful daughters in immeasurable ways. In life, we search and search and pray and pray that we are living God's purpose in our lives and wonder if we are. Thank you Raquel for sharing yourself with us and the world. And for most importantly for taking God's work and purpose in your life so seriously that you give of your self sacrificially in order to better the lives of others, this includes my self. One of the many things I have learned from you is that you can do God's work and you can take care of your needs first. If we are grounded in His word and rooted in His faith. WE can do the work and be fruitful in all we do. Another one of your many admirable characteristics is your work ethic. Thank you Raquel for taking the time out to advice your ladies on their career of choice, especially my daughter who diligently looks up to you. You are so deserving of this HONOR! Congratulations!

May 27 at 9:34 AM
Maria toledo

Hace algunos anos que conosco a Raquel y ella es de bendicion para mi por ser una joven dedicada al servicio de los demas, su trabajo exelente que hace con amor, fidelidad y dedicacion en todo lo que esta a su alcance trabajando como lider , en misiones en consejeria, siempre dispuesta a ayudar a los demas y ella es un ejemplo para este tiempo dificil por que hace todo con amor hacia los demas Dios te bendiga Raquel y te acompane siempre y puedas seguir ayudando como hasta hoy.

May 27 at 8:40 AM
Monica Cabrera

Tengo el privilegio de conocer a Raquel Toledo por mas de 7 años aqui en Chicago, he sido testigo de su ministerio, liderazgo, pasion y entrega con que realiza todo lo que emprende, personalmente ella a impactado mi vida y a sido de mucho apoyo para mi vida, por otra parte hemos trabajado en muchos proyectos juntas tanto en viajes misioneros como localmente en Chicago, Gracias Raquel por ser de bendicion a mi vida y la de mi familia, espero de todo corazon que ganes este reconocimiento ya que te lo mereces por todo tu esfuerzo y dedicacion.

May 26 at 1:50 PM
Danitza Cordón

Conocí a Raquel Toledo en un viaje misionero que hizo para acá a Guatemala en febrero de este año, ella llegó a mi Iglesia acompañada de su esposo y otros misioneros a dar una conferencia para matrimonios, que la verdad fue de gran bendición para todos y cada uno de los que estuvimos allí, dieron muchos consejos sobre cómo llevar una mejor relación... Gracias Raquel porque esos consejos fueron de gran ayuda para mi esposo y para mí! Dios le bendiga y la siga usando y la lleve más lejos de donde la tiene ahora!

May 26 at 1:29 PM
Keren Chacón

Conocí a Raquel en un viaje a Chicago aproximadamente hace 5 años, y lo poco que tengo de conocerla he visto la pasión con la que le gusta servir porque hemos tenido el privilegio de tenerla en Guatemala, y de recordarnos a cada una de las mujeres el gran valor que tenemos y nos debemos de tener, ella es de bendición para mi vida y familia, y se que es una mujer que Dios la usa con poder para hablarle a cada mujer, cada persona y recordarle que dentro de ella hay un gran potencial.

May 25 at 11:29 PM
David Toledo

I met Raquel while working with a youth ministry. I also participated in a few missions trips as well to Panama and Guatemala. Since I have known her, i have known a person who has a heart for people and has compassion for those in pain and suffering. Before we married, she began work on a foundation to help women realize their value and build up healthy self esteem through strong character building. I fell in love with her because of our shared passion for helping and making a difference. Today i am happy that I can be a part of this great mission of our foundation "A Gift of Value".I am very happy to know that this passion was there even before we met. I am proud to call her my wife and am also very proud of all her accomplishments. I get a front seat view to all the hard work and dedication she puts into making sure every detail is in place so that she can bring her best self to everything she does.

May 25 at 1:59 PM
Aracely Laboy

Raquel bring to table a sense hope, faith and love. When seem to get tough she become more tougher. She gives her all and shows no mercy against anything and everything. She deserves this award for laying out the red carpet. She is graceful and faithful and always so hopeful. May God always direct her path because that just means she will bless us more with her presence and sacrifice. I uplift this Woman of God, because he is a Good father!!! Thank you Jesus....for such beautiful servant.

May 25 at 10:14 AM
Celinés Colón

I have known Raquel, all my Life. Through our journey in life she has shown commitment, dedication, discipline, hard worker always giving a 100%. Raquel has always encouraged others to continue forward in life. Showing herself as an example to all women of all ages. That it is possible to reach for your dream and aim high, as they say the skie is the limit. Raquel doesn't just use her accomplishments as an example but she will also help you find the resources and help you take that first step into your own journey. I am truly blessed to know her and be a witness to her success.

May 24 at 11:55 PM
Norma Zambrano

When I first met Raquel, it was during a women's retreat she organized in March 2015. About 150 ladies from all walks of life attended. Her message was powerful!! When she shared some personal stories and allowed several other leaders and organizations to participate in topics related to domestic violence and self-worth, all women there could identify in one way or another. I learned much about her foundation and how God has faithfully empowered others through her. She is one of the most disciplined, organized, committed, creative and passionate person I've ever met!

May 24 at 11:03 PM
Adriana Gonzales

Raquel has had an unwavering commitment to think outside of the box and provide solutions that work. She leads by example and is willing to dig her feet in and work side by side. She is not afraid to show her vulnerable side which speaks to her authenticity. Raquel is grounded in who she is and her faith that is a light to all people who cross her path. She has been instrumental in assisting others to look at issues analytically to shift paradigms to effect change.

May 24 at 7:51 PM