Meet the team on a mission to be a helping hand on the path to stronger communities.
Founded by Shelby Ausband & Ty New, Project Apoyo came on the heels of our first NGO, pur[SHOE]ing joy. Donating shoes was a means to create educational opportunities after Shelby met a family whose children had none, & thus, could not attend the local school. A bright pink pair of Nikes were given, & 20,000 pairs later, we realized that we had a new problem. Feet were washed, the Gospel was shared, & shoes were distributed, but the abundance of shoes far outpaced the ability to follow up on children attending school. With a fresh cultural understanding, Apoyo was created to seek real, long-term impact through education + employment opportunities. We thank you for joining us in being the hands & feet in changing lives.
PRESIDENT / DIRECTOR OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Ty moved to Guatemala after college to build houses with his brother, Lee & has since moved back and planted roots in Antigua. With an MBA & 8+ years of experience working with startups & small businesses, Ty heads up our Guatemala operations focusing on Entrepreneurship grants. He has seen that talent, strength, & courage are all evenly dispersed, but opportunity is not. Ty is proud that Apoyo gets to play a small part in big change by connecting you to schools, leaders, & organizations to make a real impact.
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION
Ali spent the past seven years in the classroom both in Central America and in the States. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in reading instruction and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. Ali leads all facets of our educational program from student sponsorship to teacher development. She believes that a curriculum is only as strong as its teacher, and it’s her mission to help the schools we work with become models of change for the entire country.
TEACHER DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT – UPPER ELEMENTARY
Cara – better known as Carita – has been working in Education since 2010. Her master’s degree is in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Culturally and Linguistically diverse Education. Carita has experience in teaching English and Spanish from Kindergarten to Adult Ed and has also taught humanities in the Upper-Elementary setting. She believes that strong education is driven through student engagement and predictable systems and is motivated to work with teachers in Guatemala to empower them to create that world for their students.
TEACHER DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT – LOWER ELEMENTARY
Michelle, originally from Guatemala, has been teaching language immersion for the past 5 years in both Guatemala and the United States. She holds a master’s degree in curriculum design and instruction with an emphasis on educational leadership. Michelle believes that real change in society is achieved through a well-rounded education. Therefore, training and providing skills and strategies for teachers in Guatemala is highly valuable for the future of her country.
TEACHER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM LEAD
Gloria Callejas is a born and bred Guatemalan and a true cheerleader for her beloved country. She has been a Primary Education teacher for 13 years working in the beautiful rural areas of Guatemala. She leads our program on the ground and is passionate about working for the education of children because she believes that with education, we can change and improve the future of the country.