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We are excited to introduce the El Porvenir Youth Advisory Board! Comprised of inspiring students from across the country, the board works to improve the lives of rural Nicaraguans through advocacy on their campuses. Check out our blog to hear more from the board members!
Connor Croteau, Chair- Connor is a junior at Quinnipiac University studying Biology with a minor in International Studies. He is particularly interested in research, green technology, and sustainable living. He is involved in various organizations including his fraternity SigEp where he served as the Philanthropy Chair and currently as the Community Service Chair. He enjoys playing guitar, traveling, boating, cooking, and having an open mind. His first trip to Nicaragua was during his junior year of high school with the United Methodist Church to help improve a school in Tipitapa. From his first trip, he fell in love with Nicaragua: the people, the culture, and the opportunity to serve others. Since then, he has traveled to Nicaragua two more times. He became involved with El Porvenir through family friends, and from there, he decided to get his school involved by raising money and spreading awareness about the conditions in rural Nicaragua. He is excited to be a part of developing the Youth Advisory Board and getting more students involved.
Bethany Fristad- Bethany is a senior at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. She is pursuing a degree in Communication Arts with an emphasis in Public Relations while also pursuing a leadership certificate. Bethany has been a dancer since she learned to walk and has continued that passion. She has been on many missions trips through her hometown church in Sartell, Minnesota. Through these mission trips, and several trips to Sierra Leone, she developed a passion for helping those in need. Bethany's burning passion to meet the needs of the poor became a reality when she started Firefleyes in 2009. Firefleyes, a nonprofit organization, exists as a glimmer of hope to children living in the developing world by introducing them to the creative arts and helping inspire their dreams. Since 2009 Firefleyes has done outreach in Sierra Leone, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Mexico. After college, Bethany plans to travel and expand Firefleyes. Bethany wants to be a light for children all over the world.
Dylan Hoffman: Dylan is a senior International Business major at Seattle University. Originally from Sacramento, California, Dylan loves the sun, sports, playing the piano, and traveling. He recently returned from studying abroad in China and is interested in pursuing U.S.-Chinese business relations and becoming fluent in Mandarin. Dylan is the co-founder and current president of a campus club called the Friends of Nicaragua. The organization returned from its second service trip to Nicaragua in 2012, during which members worked with El Porvenir on several projects. Dylan has been working with El Porvenir for three years and hopes to continue to foster the relationship between Seattle University, El Porvenir, and the people of Nicaragua.
Sophie Parker: Sophie is a sophomore at Tulane University. Originally from New York City, Sophie lived in Texas for six years and decided to continue her education in the South. She is currently pursuing a double major in Political Science and Latin American Studies with a minor in Spanish. Sophie leads Tulane’s Model United Nations team and serves as a Senator-At-Large on the Undergraduate Student Government. In addition, Sophie is a Tulane Newcomb scholar focusing her research on the status of Latin American women. Her interest in El Porvenir was sparked when a family friend told her about his inspiring trip to Nicaragua. This past summer, she spent 10 days in Camoapa, Nicaragua working with locals to build improved stoves and latrines in their community. Her time spent with El Porvenir informed her choice in her major and shaped her career path.
Canyon Woodward: Canyon, originally from North Carolina, is a sophomore concentrating in Social Studies at Harvard College. He is the Assistant Executive Director of the Water Federalism Project at Harvard and is a whitewater raft guide in the summers. Some of his favorite activities include whitewater kayaking, backpacking, peddling his tandem taxi service around campus, meditation, running ultra-marathons, environmental activism, skiing, mountaineering, and traveling. Canyon became interested in water issues when traveling through India and many parts of Latin America; he is passionate about working to find sustainable long-term solutions for the global water crisis.