Who We Are

Vision

To see the Ixil region flourish through Christ-centered education.

Mission

Empowering Mayan youth to break the generational cycle of poverty in the Ixil region of Guatemala through Christ-centered education.

Values

  • Building Relationships in Christian Community
  • Hope
  • Compassion
  • Integrity
  • Stewardship
  • Serving Christ through Loving Others
  • Transparency

Board of Directors

Lolo Levy

Treasurer

Lolo Levy

Treasurer
Lolo is passionate about breaking the cycle of poverty with the rural poor and has been on multiple service team trips to Guatemala. Lolo was a CPA in public accounting and various large corporations, and now is a financial consultant helping individuals with accounting needs.



Becci Merritt

President and Board Chairman

Becci Merritt

President and Board Chairman
Becci owns her own business as an RN case manager in the field of workers’ compensation. Becci , a multi-trip veteran, began travelling to the Ixil in 1997 and is an ardent supporter of education for Ixil region students as a way to escape poverty.

Kathy Riper

Director, Donor Engagement

Kathy Riper

Director, Donor Engagement
"I am grateful that God would call me to the work that NFE is doing in the Ixil region since 2001. I taught ice skating for 36 years to competitive and recreational students. I volunteered with Agros International for 16 years. My passion now is to help my dear friends. and new friends in the Ixil region of Guatemala have the opportunity to receive a higher education that they would not otherwise receive beyond the government provided primary school education through just the sixth grade."

Carrie Nordberg

Director

Carrie Nordberg

Director
Carrie Nordberg graduated from The University of Washington with a Bachelor of Science degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. She also earned a certificate in Specialty Desserts and Artisan Breads from Seattle Central Community College. Carrie spent 17 years volunteering and working at the Crisis Clinic, a 24-hour suicide hotline based in Seattle, as both a phone worker and Crisis Intervention Specialist. She currently works in the Admissions office of the Bear Creek School and as a summer swim coach. Carrie serves as a volunteer on the drama team at her church and has been to Baja, Mexico and the Ixil, Guatemala for mission trips. A lifelong resident of the Northwest, Carrie lives in Bellevue with her husband Sean, four kids ages 6-19 and dog, Banjo. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, baking, working out, doing puzzles, hanging out with friends, and playing games with her kids.

Mary Young

Director

Mary Young

Director
Mary has been on several trips to the Ixil with a heart for providing an education for poor rural children. Mary is a project manager for an international software firm.










Bill Safstrom

Vice-Chair and Academic Committee Chair

Bill Safstrom

Vice-Chair and Academic Committee Chair
Bill Safstrom has extensive experience as a teacher and principal in Christian schools. Bill earned a M.Ed from Seattle Pacific University. Bill and his wife, Janet, have three children and live in Woodinville, Washington. He currently works in teacher education at Seattle Pacific University. He has worked with teachers and students in the Ixil region of Guatemala since the beginning of the Nicolas Fund for Education.

 

Heidi Reynolds Ph.D.

Director

Heidi Reynolds Ph.D.

Director
Heidi Reynolds is a Materials Science Engineering Consultant, specializing in STEM education and project management. In addition, she has extensive industry experience with practical work in electronic and optoelectronic packaging and materials characterization techniques and expertise in failure analysis. Her work typically involves resolving a broad range of materials issues, working with multiple disciplines to solve technical problems. Heidi earned a Ph.D. in Materials Science Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, a Master of Science in Materials Science Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. Heidi is passionate about empowering students to dream big, encouraging them to boldly follow God’s path for their lives.

 

Guatemalan Staff

Ivan Espana

National Director - Guatemala

Ivan Espana

National Director - Guatemala
I have a Mechanical Industrial Engineering degree, have completed my MBA, and have a B.S. in Theology. I have a certification in Leadership from the John Maxwell Team. I define myself as a worshipper, a preacher and a teacher for the past 35 years. I love seeing people transformed by the love of Jesus. I started going to the Ixil in 2001 and God spoke to me in a vision to work with the poor people in my country. I began working for Nicolás Fund for Education in December 2010. I am most satisfied when I contribute my talents to the NFE students and their families. Being the National Director for NFE is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.