Lauren Richard (ri-‘shərd) comes to Project Transformation North Texas with 14 years of experience in the Dallas nonprofit sector advancing missions that serve children, youth and families. She is passionate about ensuring that all children, regardless of their circumstances at birth, are able to achieve their full potential. Preparing the next generation of leaders to continue this type of important community-based work is another passion of hers. Joining Project Transformation North Texas combines Lauren’s commitment to serving others, to her faith and to facilitating social change.
Born and raised in Texas, she has spent most of her life living and working in the DFW area with the exception of the three years in Los Angeles pursuing her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology at Loyola Marymount University. While she loves her native state of Texas, she fell in love with California during her time there and loves returning whenever she has the opportunity. Lauren also received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Southern Methodist University and holds certifications in nonprofit management, program design and development, and outcomes-based program evaluation.
Lauren and her husband, John, live in Keller with their son, Jack and daughter, Grace. They are also proud parents of three adult sons.
Elspeth is a proud Project Transformation alumna, serving in 2007-2008 fresh out of college as a PT Corps Member at Casa Linda United Methodist Church. Project Transformation was the catalyst to her career focus in nonprofits as well as urban ministry. She followed her call to serve in nonprofits, both public and/or faith-based, that positively and systemically impact urban communities, such as: Salvation Army, Irving Schools Foundation, Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce, Perkins Youth School of Theology, Tyler Street United Methodist Church, and more. She loves gathering and presenting information that connects, informs, inspires, and rallies others to action. In faith-based settings, it brings her the deepest joy to help others learn how to use the tools of the faith to grow spiritually and be active members of the body of Christ.
Elspeth received her BA in Religion from Texas Christian University with an English and Spanish Double Minor, then later earned a Master's in Church Ministry, Urban Ministry Focus, from Southern Methodist University. She grew up in Irving and Oak Cliff Texas, and she knows these very factors were pivotal in discerning and living out her calling to partner in urban communities. She is a native Texan, proud TCU Horned Frog, Spanglish speaker, and theology nerd. She loves great food and going on adventures with her husband. She has traveled to Europe and also studied there, and partnered in Missions in Mexico as well as South America. Although sitting still isn’t one of her strong suits, she loves being active right where she is at in her home community.
Before first joining Project Transformation North Texas in 2014, Kelsey worked for Reading Partners where she recruited community members to serve as volunteer tutors in under-resourced schools in Dallas. As a volunteer tutor herself, she witnessed firsthand how a student who was once struggling could transform into a proud, confident reader. And as an advocate for early childhood education, she is adamant that reading is fundamental to every child’s academic success.
She has over 6 years of experience and a successful track record in development and community engagement within the nonprofit sector. She is passionate about connecting communities, developing creative, mutually beneficial business, but most of all, community service.
Kelsey received her Bachelor’s Degree in News-Editorial Journalism from Texas Tech University and her Master’s Degree in International Journalism with a concentration in Political Science from Baylor University. Her self-directed master’s program enabled her to volunteer at Dress for Success in Austin and serve with Teach Beyond in Germany were she helped facilitate a summer camp for German youth.
If she doesn’t have her nose in a book, you can most likely find her exploring the outdoors with her husband and daughter, Isla.
Sarah joined the Project Transformation team in August of 2017. Dallas born and bred, she has spent the last 15 years of her career working with Dallas area nonprofits and social service organizations. She started as a CPS investigator, and went on to work both on the direct service and administrative sides of nonprofit agencies, most recently working at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. She has a Bachelors of Science in Sociology, Psychology, and Missions from Southern Nazarene University and her Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Community Health from the University of North Texas Heath Science Center. Raised in the Nazarene church, she was attracted to the missional aspect of Project Transformation's work and looks forward to seeing and being a part of the growth of this organization.
In Sarah's spare time, she is a party animal; if by party animal you mean someone who devotes time to reading, cross-stitching, baking, and attending local theater.
LaDonna grew up in Marshall, Texas, and was raised in the Methodist church at both Ebenezer and Zion United Methodist. LaDonna is a third generation Wiley College graduate, where she received a BA in Criminal Justice, with a minor in Sociology. After working at Wiley College for three years as the Student Activities Director, LaDonna enrolled at Oklahoma City University and received her Master of Education in Applied Behavioral Studies with a focus in Counseling. Soon after completion of graduate school, LaDonna returned to Wiley College to transform the student life of the campus. During this time she worked as the counseling and Career Planning Director, quickly becoming the director for Student Development, which governed Student Activities, Student Government Association, Greek Life, community service, and Student Leadership programming. LaDonna also, serves as the Vice President for her chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and is a lay speaker at Ebenezer United Methodist Church.
LaDonna comes to Project Transformation with a servant’s heart, a commitment to excellence in youth leadership and development, and her passion for Christian education in the United Methodist Church. She enjoys reading, traveling, shopping with her mom, fishing with her dad, and singing with her family cover band.
Marcos is a recent graduate from The University of North Texas, graduating in May 2019. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Science with concentrations in English, Sociology and Educational Studies. Marcos has the unique experience of participating in Project Transformation’s Summer Program as a child, attending Elmwood-El Buen Samaritano UMC from grades 3rd – 4th. Since 2015, Marcos has served with Project Transformation North Texas in various program roles and at different site locations. Some of these roles included Youth PT Corps Member at Casa Linda UMC in 2015, Youth PT Corps Member at Christ’s Foundry UMC in 2016, Site Coordinator at Chapel Hill in 2017, and Spring/Summer Program Quality Coach in 2019. He is passionate about helping the community and those who are in need. During his free time, he enjoys playing sports, listening to music, and taking pictures.
Erin joined the staff in September of 2018 as the National Leadership Fellow working on alumni engagement. She became a permanent staff member in September 2019 when she was hired as Development Coordinator. She recently graduated from Texas Christian University in May of 2018 with a degree in Strategic Communication, and looks forward to being able to apply her formal learning to an organization she loves. Formerly she served with Project Transformation North Texas in the summers of 2017 and 2018, first as a Volunteer Coordinator at Munger UMC and then as a Site Coordinator at Chapel Hill UMC. Growing up in Plano, she became acquainted with Project Transformation in her middle school years, coming down to Dallas through her church to volunteer with the reading program. She is committed to the work of this organization and hopes to gain a better understanding of how she can serve alongside others to make Dallas an even better place. Erin's loves include photography, chai lattes, discovering new music, and cuddling with her family's new dog.
Jason Alexander Lewis is the son of Rev. Rodney & Priscilla Williams Lewis. He is a native of North Carolina, and has three siblings – 1 sister, and 2 brothers. Moving to The Colony, Texas, in 2010, Jason met a beautiful angel, Raquelle’, while working a temp job at Walmart, and they are now married and have 4 beautiful children – Tyson, Tehya, Pyper, and Marley.
Jason was educated in the public schools of North Carolina, graduating from Hoke County High School in May of 2001. The following fall, he entered North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC, and would ultimately transfer to Winston-Salem State University, earning a B.S. in Biology. While at Winston-Salem State University Jason began a formation via service organizations such as Black Men for Change, WSSU Student Government Association, Campus Activities Board, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In the community service and connectivity experienced through these organizations, Jason’s affinity for humanity found an identity. Christ’s command to love God, and love Neighbor, became clear through this experience.
It was during Jason’s senior year at ‘WSSU’ that God’s divine call broke the surface. This began yet another journey that would form his identity as a minister of the gospel. In 2010, Jason found himself at a new church plant, The Village UMC, in Desoto TX, under the leadership of Derek Jacobs, a graduate of Perkins School of Theology. After becoming a member, Jason picked up his trek into ministry in Desoto, at the Village UMC.
Jason entered Duke University’s School of Divinity in the fall of 2014, and graduated in May 2017. Since graduating, Jason was the former Executive Director for One + One Dallas – a service initiative to partner faith communities and schools in DISD. Jason also believes God blessed him with a heart to understand the people of God are God’s greatest gift to the church; All People. Jason is unashamed to share his truth, in the spirit of the love of God & Neighbor.
Having served as an PT Corps Member in 2015 and a House Pastor in 2016, Katy has experienced firsthand the impact that Project Transformation has on children, churches, and young adults, like herself. Katy says Project Transformation instilled in her a passion for youth and young adults, education, urban ministries, and the importance of building meaningful relationships. Now she gets to come full circle and connect to the mission of Project Transformation in a new way: as a staff member!
Katy received her BS in Psychology from Texas Christian University in 2016, and her MS in Counseling from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2018. In her spare time, Katy loves to watch TCU football, hang out with friends and family, drink coffee, and smile.
Chrissie joined the Project Transformation team in July of 2017. Prior to that, she managed the backbone services for Serve West Dallas’ collective impact project, SOAR (Services Optimized for Academic Reach), holistically and strategically supporting Dallas ISD elementary schools in West Dallas. She brings with her a thorough knowledge of program development and evaluation including over 10 years of experience in urban educational support and youth empowerment. She has served 2 AmeriCorps VISTA terms with Reading Partners, led TAKS intervention programing for Girl Scouts, and taught 2 – 11 year olds at the Kids Cooking Company. With a lifelong love of learning and a passion for working with diverse learners, she truly believes that education is the most powerful tool in changing the future of our community.
Chrissie received her BS in Child Development and Family Studies with a focus in special education and family life from the University of North Texas in Denton, where she was a member of Alpha Phi Omega and caught glimpses of the famous albino squirrel (UNT’s unofficial mascot). She is a South Texas native, born and raised in San Antonio, a passionate Spurs fan, and a lover of all foods TexMex. She has lived in Dallas for over 8 years and loves to explore all that the DFW region has to offer with her husband, but is never one to pass up a good book, movie, or traveling with her family and friends.
Channing graduated from Tarleton State University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, and is a proud aluma of Project Transformation North Texas. After she graduated with her undergraduate degree, she was a substitute teacher for one school year at Stephenville ISD. She is currently working on her Teacher Certification through Texas Teachers. At PTNT, her roles have included Reading Coordinator in the summer of 2018, Site Coordinator for the Afterschool Program, and she also served as a Program Quality Coach in the summer of 2019. She is committed to serving other people and hopes to spread love and positivity through her work and to everyone that she comes into contact with. In her free time, she loves to visit coffee shops, workout (especially running), spend time with family and friends, play/write music, and go to any space that shows live music.
Renee joined Project Transformation North Texas after serving 17 years as Director of Finance and Controller for a large church in the DFW area. Under her leadership, the church received 14 consecutive unqualified audits. Renee has expertise in budget development and management, safeguarding of organizational assets, asset acquisitions, internal controls, and financial reporting. Prior to transitioning into full time ministry and the nonprofit sector, Renee worked as an Auditor for the Texas Credit Union in Austin, Texas, where she was responsible for auditing credit unions throughout the state of Texas.
Renee is a native of New Orleans, LA and graduated from Louisiana State University of Baton Rouge, LA with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Santana and they are the proud parents of three girls.