Meet our team

Our team is comprised of passionate volunteers who are dedicated to enriching lives and the activities that support our purpose. We are heartfelt travellers and knowledge seekers with a common desire to give back. 


Co-Founder & CHair


For me travelling is a life highlight and a learning opportunity; by seeing how others live I gain better insight into my own life.  My travels to Nicaragua in particular, remind me of the abundance of privilege I have living in Canada.  Nicaragua is a country of immense beauty - surf, sun and sand is plentiful and the people are open and kind - but there is also undeniable poverty.  

While travelling in Nicaragua in 2015 I heard a story, about a man who used to be a bartender at the surf camp I was staying at.  One day, while serving drinks, a tourist asked Luis, "If you could do anything in the world, what would you do?"  Luis said, "I want to be a doctor."

So the tourist went back home, raised funds and sent it to Luis - in his late twenties Luis went from tending bar to attending medical school.  In 2017 I went to Luis' graduation, saw him cross the stage in his cap and gown and felt the immense pride and joy as we celebrated with his family.  I've witnessed the power education has to end cycles of poverty and abuse and empower youth to forever change their future and become leaders in their community.  

KEY Education Project is my expression of gratitude, my way of giving back.  A way of creating more "Luis" stories in this world.  


 I went to the top law school in the country, the youngest in my class, not because of hard work or brains, but because of a lot of good luck.  I had parents who always pushed me academically and didn't have a TV as a kid, so I read encyclopedias for fun.   I am fortunate to have been able to choose what school to go to and what to do as a career.  For the majority of the world, this is not the case.  I believe giving disadvantaged, high potential individuals a chance to pursue their passion will generate leaders that will change communities and countries, for generations. I believe if we change a life, we can change the world. 


I'm challenged intellectually and physically! I'm an avid rock climber, scuba diver, long-distance runner and yogini - physical activity is my stress relief.  

My commitment...

 to live with integrity and leave the world a little bit brighter. 

Someone is sitting in the shade today
because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
— Warren Buffett





I’ve been a traveler since I was 19 years old.  In my mind I’ve been traveling since I was 5. There was just something so alluring about new places, cultures, people, food ...  Those travels took me so many places and in 2009 landed me in Nicaragua.  KEY wasn’t around then, but the kids in the surrounding communities that wanted an opportunity to put on a uniform and go to school was obvious. 

So in 2017 when I had a chance encounter with Su through Instagram and learned of KEY Education Project, I didn’t hesitate or question what I was about to do.  I went to Nicaragua to meet the students, threw my heart at these kids and can’t wait to help more and more students expand on their dreams. 


I grew up with very humble means alongside my 3 siblings. My mom worked tirelessly to provide for us but for a very long time we were reliant on the help and kindness of others which has never been lost on me.  But even in our financial state, we were ALL given opportunities to further our education. 

Now, I want to pay it forward and give these amazing students the opportunity that I was given. Because anyone who wants to work hard to better themselves and their communities deserves this chance. 

My commitment...

 to wake up each day, feel my heart beat and know that I still get to be here and make the very most of my life and do something that matters. 

“Be the reason that someone believes in the goodness of people.”
— Anonymous



Co-founder & Director


KEY Education Project is a means for me to connect my work and resources at home with the needs of those overseas. One of my life passions is to travel the world, especially some of the off-the-beaten path countries like Nicaragua, South Africa, Iceland, Madagascar, Cambodia etc.  It is through these travels that I've developed an appreciation of just how blessed and charmed my life is and it has compelled me to find a way to invest in local people who can turn around and lead their own communities.  


Growing up in an immigrant family where my parents’ hopes for our future were pinned on obtaining a quality education, I too believe that education is the instrument of progress.  I am looking forward to a day when I can look at the people we are able to support through this project and see the exponential impact they had in their community just as I hope my parents can look at me and see the same result from their own investment.


As VP of Financial Planning for a major financial institution, I work in the corporate world by day but live for the outdoors by night/weekend.  I am grateful to live in Canada and enjoy exploring my surroundings.  I am an avid hiker, rower, snowboarder and long walker! 


I am a creature of habit and can’t live without my blueberry cinnamon flaxseed oatmeal in the morning and playing Legos or riding bikes with my niece and nephew.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
— Rob Siltanen

Katherine Alvarez



KEY is a beacon of hope.  A bridge that takes people out of their circumstances over to the place where dreams are fulfilled and lives are changed forever.  KEY is not just a charity organization - it is a community of love, support and growth.  It is important because it gives opportunities to deserving and high potential youth that would otherwise not be able to fulfill their dreams of having a career.  It changes the lives of many, who will in turn help many others as well.

ON giving back ...

I believe there is no better way to use one’s education than to become a leader in one’s community. Each of us have the potential to do so much good with the vast knowledge one gains from having an education.  I believe it is important to develop leaders so that more lives can be touched and changed forever.  I volunteered as a translator to give back to others but what I have received is so much more than what I give.  I recently had the opportunity of meeting many individuals that for a long time, I only knew on paper.  As if my heart could not grow any bigger from just reading about these students and how they have overcome obstacles in their lives.  My heart has grown a hundredfold from meeting them face-to-face and getting to know them on a personal level.  Both the KEY students and Nicaragua now hold a very special place in my heart.


I love being able to move my body whether it be to the beat of my heart or the beat of a song.  Yoga, acrobats, dance and getting sweaty at the gym are some of my favourite ways to fuel my heart, mind and soul.  I also love to sing (to the dismay of my many siblings).


... laughing hysterically!  Laughter is the best medicine and there is always something to crack up about in my family.


Be who God meant for you to be and you will set the world on fire.
— St. Catherine of Siena