People

Dream big and love what you do says executive director Clara Acero

Clara Acero, the executive director of Kingdom Charitable Trust, fondly recalls how her time at Palm Beach State College has helped shape her success.

“I love that PBSC represents people from all walks of life. It is very diverse, and if you can be successful at PBSC you can be successful anywhere.”

Earning an associate degree, Acero attended finance committee meetings, participated in student government and was heavily involved in the community. With a breadth of opportunities and experiences at Palm Beach State’s Boca Raton campus, she acquired skills that are serving her today.

“Palm Beach State’s encouragement and small classes allowed me to grow not just as a student. Receiving a leadership award for establishing a medical club was a true highlight for me. Dr. Mark Davis influenced me to start the club. He helped me to break away from my shyness and be a trailblazer.”

Originally from San Francisco and of Colombian origin, Acero’s family moved to Florida to be closer to Colombia. “As a first-generation college student, I was able to help my mother financially. And the College’s location was perfect because I could remain in the area while helping my family.”

At Florida Atlantic University, Acero earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. While working in FAU’s College of Medicine, she realized her passion for people. With her first white coat ceremony, Acero learned the art of fundraising and how to be part of a committee.

“Understanding reporting and representation really prepared me for my career. I see myself as a jack of all trades. But if it wasn’t for PBSC, I wouldn’t have had my first job.”

Acero encourages today’s students not only to put tremendous effort into their studies but also to get involved in clubs and committees beyond the academics for a more personal experience, something that Palm Beach State did for her.

As a professional, she offers heartfelt advice to new graduates. “Be adaptable and don’t close yourself off from different career paths. Transferable skills are important. Dream big and love what you do.”

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