Peter White, Esq.


Founder and Director of Friends of Students for 60,000, retired Northport High School Social Studies teacher, New York State Teacher of the Year, founder and advisor of Students for 60,000 from 1986-2005, 2007-2008.

After being a classroom teacher since 1970, something finally dawned on me in the mid-1970’s. I taught a lesson to my American Studies students about the struggle Native Americans had to endure and their “Trail of Tears.” Many of the kids seemed quite touched by the material and the lesson itself. But when the bell rang, they flooded into the hallway, joined their friends, and resumed what seemed like business as usual for them. I decided that my teaching had to be more than business as usual, that my lessons had to be more connected with real and important life lessons, and that students had to be given opportunities to actualize what they learned in class. I wanted them to become involved with others for real, to experience things that books alone could not provide. I was fortunate to have the great Dick Streb as my chairperson and mentor. He not only permitted me to dream big as a teacher, he guided me, cut red tape, and showed me how to overcome obstacles. Where there was a will, there had to be a way. After more than 800 trips with students to New York, which included every neighborhood, subway station, precinct, park and museum, and thousands of encounters with people who were different from them, dozens of trips to Boston, 40 more to the barrios and campos of Nicaragua, and even one to Africa, I believe the change in methodology worked. Students for 60,000 was formed for students after they became aware of the plight of homeless, and the Nicaragua Project began after Dick Streb once again urged that I take the blinders off and stretch my mind and the minds of my students.

Katie Shreck


Kate Shreck has been travelling to Nicaragua on humanitarian trips since shortly after Hurricane Mitch devastated the region in 1998. Kate has been a member of Friends and agreed to serve as Co-Director beginning in 2011 after Dick Wiltamuth relocated to New England. Kate was also one of the three founding members of the Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Nicaragua Project.

Dick Wiltamuth


Dick served as Co-Director of Friends until 2011 and was assistant adviser to Students for 60,000 for several years. He has been on 11 trips to Nicaragua and is looking forward to more trips with members of Friends. He retired in 2008 as an editor at Newsday.

The purpose of my first visit to Nicaragua was to write a newspaper feature story about the Students’ annual trip. I was skeptical, expecting a touristy, superficial glance at the lives of rural people while we focused on our tans. What I got was much different, and has made me into a true believer in the work of both Students and Friends in relieving the misery of poverty, both in Nicaragua and in our country. For during that trip and many others, we lived the life, sharing in the deprivations of the poor and learning how to help them. Lifelong friendships have been formed as people of two nations have joined in the effort

Frances Killelea

Publicity and Web Coordinator  

Frances, a Northport High School language teacher, travelled to Nicaragua with Students for 60,000 in 2006 and was deeply impressed by the work of the organization and by the enduring people of Nicaragua. She has travelled to other areas in Central America and elsewhere, and is particularly interested in global health, immigration issues, and in women and children impacted by poverty.

Adam Kantrowitz

Web Developer  

Adam is a Northport High School graduate who travelled to Nicaragua with Students for 60,000 back in 1994.