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Board Of Directors

Steven Kontz

(President and Co-Founder)

Steven first visited Nicaragua in 2004 as a high school sophomore, when his sister made him tag along on the trip she had planned. It ended up working out okay, as he has returned to Nicaragua nearly every year since. Steven co-founded the Nicaragua College Fund with Haydi Danielson during his junior year of college. He graduated from UCLA in 2010 and now spends his time working with start ups and watching his favorite sports teams. 

Haydi Boething Danielson


Haydi has three decades of experience running private and non-profit organizations in the fields of education and the environment. Her expertise lies in organizational behavior and team building. She has mentored students in elementary school through their university and graduate level careers. Founding a K-8 school in Santa Cruz, California in 2000, Haydi acted as director for ten years, guiding students, faculty, and parents toward success through education. Her involvement with young people in Nicaragua began in 2004, when she led her first group of American teenagers to do community service and explore the different realities of life in that country. Since that time, Haydi has been dedicated to combatting poverty in Nicaragua through the promotion of education and service. Haydi attended UCLA, where she earned her BA in Geography and later attended Yale University, where she earned Master’s degrees in Public and Private Management and Forest Science.

Teddy Danielson

Teddy has visited Nicaragua three times since her first trip in 2009 as a high school junior. She was so touched by the children at the school in Managua that she found herself thinking about them non-stop when she got back home to California each year. Teddy has been instrumental in interviewing scholarship candidates and recipients over the past three years, in an effort to identify the students with the most potential to succeed and to motivate those who are already at university. She is passionate about the urgent need to educate young people in Nicaragua as a means to slow the progress of poverty, and is especially driven to empower young women through education.

Karen Kontz

Karen first visited Nicaragua in 2004 as a high school senior and president of her school’s Rotary Interact Club. The trip was such a success that she returned to Nicaragua the following two summers. Karen was inspired by the children at the school and impressed by their spirit and love for learning. After graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Karen went on to join Teach for America as a 2008 Corps Member. She taught Pre-Kindergarten at San Francisco Head Start for three years. She is now in her final year of law school at UC Davis School of Law and hopes to continue to work with children and families by advocating for low-income youth and children in the foster care system.

Roselyne Soto

Roselyne is a native from Nicaragua and Rosamaria Bell’s daughter in law. She introduced Rosamaria and the Colegio Cristiano el Padul to Haydi and together started taking youth to Nicaragua since 2004. Roselyne considers herself a citizen of the world since she is Franco-Nicaraguan, lived in different countries, is well traveled and trilingual (French, Spanish and English). She enjoys inviting people to travel with her to open their eyes to different cultures and different “realities”. 


She has been involved with the Colegio Cristiano el Padul in many different ways due to her ties to Rosamaria Bell. She now lives in Santa Cruz with her husband and son. She worked for Google 6 years as an Early Childhood Educator before choosing stay home and raise her child.

John Danielson

Haydi’s son, John first visited Nicaragua in the summer of 2006.  He takes joy in knowing that college educations will lead students out of poverty and kindle new life among their families.  He respects the lessons in courage and fairness taught at Jardin Infantil and Colegio El Padul.  A student of language and economics, John currently works for a Santa Cruz-based library.