Stephen Sper is a social and technology entrepreneur. After working as a marketing and technical consulting in Chicago and Los Angeles, he began traveling through the US, Canada, and Latin America on a motorcycle. While leaving Guatemala, he had an accident that extended his stay within the country, and brought him to the tiny town of San Marcos La Laguna.
While living with executive director Andrew Raphael, Stephen offered to help keep the project running by raising funds online. He built Konojel a website and ran an online crowdfunding campaign that raised $18,000 over 2 weeks. This initial fundraiser allowed Konojel to continue operations and begin expanding their programming into education and women’s empowerment.
Since that initial fundraiser, Stephen has managed the online presence of Konojel and heads up communications for the All Together Foundation. He is a big idea person, and works hard to bring access to food, educational materials, and technology for the beneficiaries involved at Konojel. He has continued to manage the crowdfunding campaigns every year, bringing in the majority of the yearly operations budget. He also brings in donations from around the world to support the new efforts Konojel takes on, such as the educational enrichment program and a new online platform for fundraising.
“Since I was a child, I’ve always volunteered for projects that work within the local community. Konojel became a passion of mine when I started getting to know the kids at the project, and learning how difficult their home lives were — food insecurity, alcoholism, abuse, and other symptoms of endemic poverty. I’ve been blessed my entire life, with incredible parents, great schooling, and all of the opportunities in the world, and Konojel is my chance to give back these opportunities to people who have overcome a lot of adversity.”