With support from the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry’s Young Clergy Initiative and several generous donors, we are thrilled to announce a new program at Project Transformation National!

To help create a pipeline and cultivate future ministry leaders at Project Transformation and beyond, PT National will work this year with existing PT chapters to support four young adult alumni to serve as National Leadership Fellows. These four Fellows will be placed at four current local chapters and be assigned various capacity building projects on a one-year timeline while discerning their vocation, earning a nonprofit leadership certificate, and developing as leaders.

Project Transformation National was established in 2015 to inspire and support a national movement that is led by young adults for young adults to discern vocations in ministry and service. A critical element in successfully scaling PT’s model of ministry is selecting and training the right leaders to ensure the organization’s culture, values, and theory of change is replicated with fidelity. PT alumni most often initiate new chapter development because of their personal experience of transformation and passion to replicate in their own United Methodist annual conference. In fact, each of the existing PT chapters was either founded or is currently led by PT alumni.

We’re so grateful for the amazing young adult leaders emerging through PT chapters all over the country and are honored to continue to invest in their vocational discernment and leadership development.

Here’s a look at the 2018-19 National Leadership Fellows Cohort… 
 

Name: Cassie Samuelson

Education: BA in Music, Tarleton State University

Local Chapter Role: Project Transformation Central Texas as Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator

Prior PT Service:
Summer 2016, North Texas Elementary Team Member
Summer 2018, Central Texas Program Quality Coach

What is your vision for working with PT?

I would love to be in a staff position for a very long time. I feel like this is what I am supposed to being doing. When Chelsea, Central Texas Program Manager, came to Tarleton State University to recruit, I felt like God was calling me back to PT for the PQC role, and I have absolutely loved getting to work alongside underserved children. PT was my first time to do this, and it impacted me deeply. I hope one day I can start my own chapter.

Hobbies: Reading, writing, singing, playing ukulele, drinking coffee with my husband in the mornings, spoiling my puppies endlessly

Favorite PT Story: My favorite memory thus far with PT was as a Program Quality Coach, with an intern who was unsure of what she wanted for her future. She and I attended college together for a couple of years, and I roped her into PT through an all-call tweet, asking for people who needed a summer job that would change their lives! At the beginning of the summer, she and I sat down for coffee, and she told me she was looking for answers as to what her future was meant to look like. At the end of the summer, this intern had fallen in love with curriculum, underserved kiddos, and PT as a whole; PT showed her that the future looked bright and full of guiding kids, in whatever capacity that may be. Seeing my friend go from unsure of herself to excited for her future, due to a program that changed, and is changing, my own life, was truly special!

 

Name: Sarah Flores

Education: BA in Interdisciplinary Education, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

Local Chapter Role: Project Transformation Indiana as Program Manager

Prior PT Service:
Summers 2014, 2015, 2016, North Texas Reading Coordinator
Summer 2017, Central Texas Site Coordinator
Summer 2018, Indiana House Pastor

What is your vision for working with PT? As a former high school program participant in North Texas, I remember feeling called to work with children; now my vision is to be able to give back to this program. PT has trained me to be a leader and has guided me. Because of my own story, I believe I will be able to tell the story of PT and create partnerships for betterment of the community and to help churches see the vision of what PT is and can be. I feel ready and led to lead. To be a part of a program that has instilled so much leadership in me feels right.

Hobbies: Drinking coffee and watching my cats play

Favorite PT Story:
Well, there were a lot of great memories…But, there is one that kinda sticks with me is last summer in Central Texas. Being a site coordinator I had the pleasure of doing the end of summer evaluations with the kids. There was one little girl in particular who had some special needs and who needed a lot of extra attention over the course of the summer. Though I had experience working with children with special needs, it was challenging. After her evaluation she turned and looked at me with small tears in her eyes, she hugged me and said “thank you for not giving up on me.” Of course I started to cry, but in that moment, I truly experienced how impactful PT is.



Name: Erin Kiel

Education: BS in Strategic Communication, Texas Christian University

Local Chapter Role: Project Transformation North Texas as Alumni Engagement Fellow

Prior PT Service:
Summer 2017, North Texas Volunteer Coordinator
Summer 2018, North Texas Site Coordinator

What is your vision for working with PT? My vision began with my own story. I grew up at Custer Road UMC and came to PT as a reading volunteer as a teenager in the summer. I heard about the internship at church and many of my friends then encouraged me to serve with PT. Being at PT has always felt so right whether as a volunteer, an intern or as a Site Coordinator. I feel called to be more a part of it; and at each point I have continued to answer that calling. It is my dream to be working long-term with PT in a greater capacity.

Hobbies: photography, exploring the Dallas area, and cuddling with my family’s new dog

Favorite PT Story:
One of my favorite PT stories is when my team got to meet Dirk Nowitzki on our first day of summer program this past summer at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church!

 
 
Name: Mitchel Lambert

Education: 
BS in Sport Administration, Louisiana State University

Local Chapter Role: Project Transformation Rio Texas as the Young Adult Development Director

Prior PT Service:

 

Summers 2013-14, North Texas Elementary Team Member
Summer 2015, North Texas Youth Team Member
Year round 2015- 2016, North Texas Site Coordinator
Summer 2017, North Texas Program Quality Coach
Summer 2018, Rio Texas Program Quality Coach

What is your vision for working with PT? I have spent the last six years working at Project Transformation North Texas and Rio Texas chapters in many different roles. I have been called to work with interns and college students to spread the love of God to those around me. PT is a place where I can bring to light the kingdom of God. One of these days, I want to be running a PT chapter somewhere! I wouldn’t be working directly with children but affecting the lives of children and churches.

Hobbies:
Outdoor hobbies include playing soccer and Ultimate Frisbee
Indoor hobbies are reading, video games, and trivia nights

Favorite PT Story:
Many of my favorite memories revolve around Urban Camp where PT North Texas takes youth to a sleep away camp for five days and four nights. One of my favorite activities at Urban Camp was the high ropes course where participants work their way up to the high ropes elements throughout the week. On the last day of high ropes, everyone gets to try the zip line and the Leap of Faith. The Leap of Faith is a 25′-30′ telephone pole that the youth climb to the top. Once they get on top of the pole, the participant jumps and tries to grab on to a trapeze bar suspended in mid air. During the summer of 2017, one of our high ropes participants had some special needs. He had attempted the Leap of Faith before, but couldn’t climb up more than three of four nails on the telephone pole. He set his 2017 goal to climb all the way to the top of the pole; once he touched the top he was just going to let go and let the belay team lower him down. Every boy in the group was cheering him on as he took his time and climbed up the pole. When he reached the top of the pole, he wasn’t content with just touching the top. He was going to stand on top of the pole. After a few minutes of struggling to get on top of the wobbling pole, he finally got both feet on steady. He lasted about a second on top of the pole before he dove off as if he was a lead singer attempting a stage dive. His glowing smile blotted out the sun as he was lowered down to earth. All of the boys swarmed him before his feet touched the ground. The other boys didn’t even give the instructors enough time to remove his harness before they picked him up and carried our triumphant super hero around the high ropes course.