Mayor Potencial

Empowering Children and Communities to reach their full Potential

Our Mission & Vision

Mayor Potencial's Mission

Mayor Potencial goes the distance to serve destitute rural Honduran communities and develop lasting partnerships for lasting impact. We inspire volunteers to disseminate social change and empower youth in Honduras through education. At the heart of our mission is the voice of those we serve.
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Mayor Potencial's Vision

Mayor Potencial strives to promote sustainable community development in rural Latin America and to empower future leaders to foster social change.

Our Story

Nancy Bell, Founder of Mayor Potencial

"Mayor Potencial is not only improving access to education in rural Latin America but is also providing children in these areas with mentors and role models who can inspire them. At the same time we are breaking the stereotypes that people might have about why developing communities are living in poverty. We are connecting students in the USA with students in Honduras and learning from each other. Most importantly, Cornell students are learning resilience, different views/solutions to problems and that you can find happiness everywhere. Also, students in the USA are applying what they learn in classes to the real world and in the process learning about the different constraints that these communities face as they develop cultural competency. Mayor Potencial values this opportunity to positively impact students all across the world. We are changing the world by helping one school, and one community at a time."

Nancy's Story

In the rural Honduran village where Nancy Bell ’09 was born, the nearest high school is a three-hour walk away along hilly, rock-covered dirt roads. With no transportation other than donkeys, teenagers in the village of El Rodeito typically drop out of school after sixth grade and work on their families' farms. By the age of 16, most of the girls in the village are already married and having kids.

Bell was one of the few lucky ones. When she was four years old, her parents moved from El Rodeito to the capital of Honduras — Tecucigalpa — where her parents worked 18-hour days, often without eating, so that they could send her and her younger brother to private school. After graduating from high school, Bell enrolled in Universidad Tecnológica Centroamericana in Tecucigalpa — the first person from El Rodeito to attend college.

Shortly after starting at the university, Bell learned about a collaborative program offered at Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3). She applied and received a small scholarship to study at the college in Dryden for two years. In 2007, she transferred to The Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University and graduated with a bachelor's degree two years later. Bell is now working on her master's degree in human resources at Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

While she lives more than 2,000 miles from Honduras, Bell has not forgotten the struggles of the people who live in El Rodeito. In 2013, she founded Mayor Potencial (which means "greatest potential"), a nonprofit organization that is raising money to improve the educational system for children, help business owners expand their enterprises for a global market, and provide experiential learning opportunities for Cornell students.

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Team Members
Khanh Phuong Tong
Chief Operating Officer
Allison Liang
Chief Development Officer
Nidia David
International Liaison
Logan Flores
International Liaison
Helena Wu
Fundraising & Alumni Engagement Coordinator
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Norman Matos
Marketing Manager
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Krystin Chiellini
Trips and Research Coodinator
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Liam Martin
Graphic Designer
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Ben Komor
Content Creator


We will be partnering with Schools in the U.S., Schools in Honduras and NGOs in Honduras to help us connect the schools to each other. We will be forming relationships with the children and their communities and connecting them to the children in the U.S. We are currently partnering with students in Cornell University and the Elmira Free Academy High School, Cayuga Heights Elementary SchoolIthaca Waldorf SchoolThe Cornell Computer Reuse Association, Cornell Commitment, Cornell Latin America Student Society, Gospel Alliance Church of Belle Vernon, PA, and more, as we work under the guidance of professors at Cornell University and Ithaca College. 

In Honduras, we are partnering up with students from private schools to help us on our service trips. We will also be reaching out to local NGOs in Honduras to help us identify other schools in dire need of our programs.

© 2014-2018 Mayor Potencial is a 501(c)(3) organization. All rights reserved.