Our Staff and Board

Staff

Monique Turner Lopez - Chief Executive Officer

Monique Turner-Lopez is a seasoned administrator with over thirty years of experience in non-profit sector both in the United States and Latin America.

She has designed, implemented, and overseen multi-site agencies and programs focusing on family support services, education, positive youth development, financial counseling/education, and workforce development services for non-profit organizations located in her home state of Connecticut, in Washington, D.C. and in Columbus, Georgia.

Prior to working in the non-profit sector in the United States, Monique’s career began in international development. In such, she was the US based liaison on several educational projects focusing on Honduras, as well as other countries in Latin America and the countries of Pakistan, Spain, and South Africa. Monique is also a former Peace Corps Volunteer, having served in the Dominican Republic.

Under her leadership, Monique has raised over 10 million dollars in fund development efforts for various non-profit organizations. She has also been a consultant to several nonprofit organizations on matters such as program development, fundraising, governance, capacity building, diversity sensitivity training, and strategic planning.

Monique holds a Master’s Degree in Human Service Administration from Springfield College and a BS degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. Over the last eighteen years, she has served on several nonprofit boards of directors in which she held the executive committee positions of board chair, board secretary, and personnel committee chair.

Monique lives in Trinity, Florida with her husband, Frank and their two children, Emmari and Emani. During her free time, Monique enjoys spending time with family, traveling, exploring local cultural sites, and crafting when her occasional creativity bug bites.

Amelie Doyle - In-Country Director

Amelie first set foot on the Latin American continent as an exchange student in Montevideo, Uruguay 6 years ago and fell in love with the region and its people. Her career in the development sector started when she volunteered in Buenos Aires, Argentina at an equality and justice NGO where she worked on a project dedicated to providing vulnerable communities with information and access to their rights. After completing her bachelors degree in Spanish and Political Science, Amelie spent two and a half years in Medellin, Colombia where she started off as an English teacher at Federico Ozanam high school and was later chosen to implement the ministry of education’s bilingual strategy “Colombia Bilingue” in the region of Antioquia. In this role, she oversaw the successful implementation of the programme in twelve schools and managed a team of twenty international volunteers each semester. After her Colombian adventures, Amelie dived back into the world of education earning herself a masters degree in International Development at the the University of Amsterdam. During this time, Amelie carried out a research period of three months which culminated in a thesis focusing on bilingual education strategies for quality education in Latin America. Since graduating from her masters degree, Amelie worked for Education International, a global Education trade union federation in Brussels, Belgium where she was a consultant and researcher for the solidarity and development unit.

Amelie was brought up bilingual and considers herself to be a global citizen. Originally from Ireland, she spent most of her childhood in Brussels, and adult life in Latin America. Needless to say, she considers all these places to be her home!

Executive Board

Michael Buttram - Director

Michael is a Program Coordinator at Alt. Breaks at Colorado State University. Michael’s previous experience includes work with the Community Engagement, Outreach, and Youth Ministries at the United Church of Santa Fe, a United Church of Christ with a deep commitment to social justice and peace. Prior to that he worked on the federal GEAR UP Grant, a college and career readiness program serving low-income schools, and six years as a classroom teacher. After volunteering with BECA in 2009 - 2010, Michael remained with the organization as BECA’s Program Development Director and later as the Executive Director. This work, along with current and previous experiences have galvanized Michael’s dedication to community driven efforts toward increasing educational opportunity and equity.

Michael received an M.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College and a B.A. in Music and Mass Communications from Texas Tech University. Michael was the recipient of a Fulbright Study Grant for work in Comparative Educational Practices at the Pädagogishe Hochshule in Weingarten, Germany.

Jaime Koppel - Founder, Chair

Jaime Koppel is the Deputy Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Communities for Just Schools Fund. Previously, she served as Senior Fellow at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, with responsibility for facilitating federal interagency coordination and collaboration with external partners on eliminating unnecessarily punitive school discipline and increasing use of positive school climate approaches.

Jaime also worked as Director of Youth & Education Justice at the Children's Defense Fund - New York (CDF-NY). In that role, she managed the efforts of CDF-NY’s Youth Justice team, focused on ensuring meaningful education and juvenile justice reforms. Before working with CDF-NY, Jaime served as Chief of Staff for the Executive Deputy Commissioner of New York City's Administration for Children's Services.

Jaime’s ongoing work with BECA continues to influence her belief in the absolute imperative that community members be supported in shaping children's educational experiences and collaborating with schools.

Jaime has a MPA from Columbia University and a B.A. from Hamilton College.

Fran Talavera - Secretary

Fran joined the BECA team in 2012 as our first ever In-Country Director, a role in which she worked to co-ordinate operations between our three schools and build local partnerships with local organisations to strengthen BECA's work and further our mission. Inspired by the deep impact that BECA was having on the children and families with whom we work, in 2014, Fran moved back to the UK to train as a teacher through Teach First. Prior to working with BECA, Fran worked with Latin American Foundation for the Future in Peru and with Engineers Without Borders UK amongst other education-focused projects and was honoured to be awarded a Vodafone Foundation International World of Difference Prize in 2010. She is excited to continue to be involved with BECA as a board member and to have been enticed back to Latin America as a Primary Teacher at The British School in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Adam Wozniak - Board Treasurer

Adam Wozniak joined the BECA family in 2011 and served as BECA’s Program Administrator at Santa Monica Bilingual School during BECA’s first two years in partnership with the school.

After his time in Honduras, Adam continued his connection with Central America while working for a USAID partner implementing education and rural development programs in Nicaragua and Guatemala. He currently works at the No Kid Hungry Campaign, which supports childhood nutrition programs in the United States. Adam has a B.S. in International Economics and a B.A. in Spanish from the University of St. Thomas (MN) and is currently pursuing his Master's in Applied Economics from the University of Maryland.

Adam was born and raised in Wisconsin and now lives in Tacoma, Washington. On the weekends you will likely find him outside hiking, camping or playing soccer.

Local Partners

ASPAPRO - SJBS Partners

In 2004 the community members of Cofradia and BECA took a huge leap of faith. While BECA worked to recruit the teachers for a school that didn’t even exist and the community began the process of miracle making… they got a wealthy landowner to donate a plot of land and they raffled off tickets for it to raise the initial capital to buy a parcel of land for the school. The parents began meeting at night and build essentially in the dark. Against all odds, they managed to build a school in 3 months and register themselves as a fully-fledged, not for profit called ASPAPRO. We opened the doors of San Jeronimo Bilingual School in August 2004 and we haven’t looked back.

Hermanas Agustinas - SMBS Partner

Santa Mónica was founded through the efforts of the Nuns of San Agustin a few years back. The partnership between BECA and the school began when the nuns learned of our efforts and approached us in the spring 2010. After a period of investigation and incubation, we committed to partnering full time in August 2011.

The sisters remain closely involved in the management and support of the school and have been in the community of Vida Nueva for over ten years.

Amigos de Jesus - ADJBS Partners

Amigos de Jesús is a U.S. and Honduran based organization operating a children’s home for over 120 children who have been victims of abuse or neglect in some form. ADJ accepts abandoned, abused and impoverished children with the hope of respecting and enhancing their spiritual, physical, emotional, social and intellectual growth within their country of origin. They aspire toward self-sustainability for both the Home and the children who graduate. In Honduras, BECA works with the School Director, Osman Quintanilla, local staff and ADJ Directors of Operation Amy and Wilson Escoto.