We’re excited to introduce the Fotokids Board of Directors! Learn about who we are and why Fotokids is important to us. We’re also sharing some of our favorite Fotokids-related photos and videos that we’ve captured ourselves over the years. Thank you very much for your support of Fotokids, we couldn’t do it without you and we’re so happy to have you in the Fotokids family.
Nancy McGirr, Royce Nicolaisen, Logan Roberton, Walt Trask, Deborah O’Grady, Matt Strain, Georgiana Young, Austin Lau
Nancy McGirr, President
I am the founder of Fotokids and have been privileged to be at the helm for 30 years. My previous work was as a combat photographer covering the wars in Central America as Reuter’s staff and I also worked on contract for Black Star.
Fotokids has kept me excited and committed for so many years. I have seen the kids, blossom into artists, critical thinkers and compassionate adults able to find employment, in a severely depressed economy. They have taken over the program to share with others the opportunities they have had in Fotokids.
I have organized Fotokids exhibitions and given interviews in over 14 countries, taking the young artists with me. And I have found photography to be the perfect teaching tool to get kids excited about learning. We have used photography and writing to explore the rights of the child, the Guatemalan civil war, help with HIV positive children, kids with spinal difficulties, to look at cultural identity with children of farmworkers in California’s central valley, give girls a boost with a 3 year IT program, and teach environmental education in the jungles of Honduras. I have lived continuously since 1989 and it is where my heart is, it is my home.
Royce Nicolaisen, Vice President
Logan Robertson, Secretary
Fotokids has been part of my life since 1998, when I joined the staff to teach creative writing and photography. What I imagined as a 6 month stint in Guatemala became a lifelong commitment to this vital work. I now live with in Central California and work as an educational consultant, workshop facilitator, and grant writer.
For me, Fotokids is about family. My husband and I met while we were working for Fotokids. We have brought our own children to visit Guatemala with us. Our former students are now teaching Fotokids classes, managing the organization, passing on what they have learned to a new generation of students. Fotokids has been as impactful in my life as in the lives of the children and families it serves, and I am so grateful to help sustain the vision and mission of this organization.”
Walter Trask, Treasurer
I have had the privilege of knowing Nancy McGirr since the late 1960s. When she founded Fotokids some 30 years ago, then called“Out of the Dump,” I visited her in Guatemala and saw first hand the challenge she had set for herself. There were many obstacles to overcome – the resistance of the parents who relied on the help of their children to forage in the dump for anything of value (that value often being a penny for plastic bags!), the paranoia that a gringa would somehow take the children away. But, she persisted. From those early days, Fotokids has become a model program for valuing and developing the potential of children in challenging, often debilitating, circumstances.
With diligence, discipline, and dignity, the children of Fotokids are given the tools to achieve things their families could never have imagined. I’m proud to be a supporter of this exemplary program.”
My first encounter with Nancy and Fotokids came nearly 15 years ago when I spent a week volunteering in Santiago Atitlan. I was blown away by the transformative impact the program has on the lives of these children. Over the years, I’ve come to understand how photography and creativity fosters a sense of self-worth and develops a growth-mindset that paves the way for resilience, collaboration, and the ability to build a better future.
Personally, I’ve always had an interest and passion for photography and creativity. Professionally, I’m excited to be able to work at Adobe where I can bring creative tools to the masses. However, the most rewarding thing I do is with Fotokids where I see first hand the life-altering changes that Nancy and the program bring to the children in the programs.”
My passion for photo and video was born later in life during my corporate days at YouTube and GoPro. I’m especially excited to see that passion core to the way Fotokids creates and fulfills dreams of so many children. Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, I call Park City, Utah home these days. I work on strategic partnerships at WordPress.com.
I love how photography unlocks the creativity and dreams of Fotokids students. It takes amazing levels of determination from these kids and it’s for this reason that I am so proud to be part of the Fotokids family, doing what I can to help those dreams become a reality.”