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 joining the Project Transformation team in 2014, Kelsey worked for Reading Partners where she recruited community members to serve as volunteer tutors in under-resourced schools in Dallas ISD. As a volunteer tutor herself, she witnessed firsthand how a student who was once struggling in many subjects could transform into a proud, confident reader, excited about learning and someday attending college. As an advocate for early childhood education, she is adamant that reading is fundamental to every child’s academic success. Working also with the corporate sector, she has experience advancing relationships among a wide range of stakeholders. She is passionate about connecting communities, developing creative, mutually beneficial business, but most of all, community service.
Kelsey received her BA in news-editorial journalism at Texas Tech University and her Master’s 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 an English camp for German youth. She is a proud Red Raider and Baylor Bear, though football season can often prove conflicting. Before attending college, Kelsey grew up in Germany with her parents and two younger siblings. If she doesn’t have her nose in a book, you can most likely find her telling stories of her hometown of Kandern, Germany over a cup of Kaffee or Heisse Schoggi.
Tonya joined the Project Transformation team in February 2016. A native of Jackson, Tennessee, Tonya is a graduate of Austin Peay State University, where she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Broadcast and Journalism Studies. She is also a graduate of Vanderbilt Divinity School, where she earned a Master’s of Divinity degree with an emphasis in Christian Education. While earning her M.Div. degree she instituted a sign language ministry at her church and became Dean of the Mt. Zion Bible College and further expanded the educational ministry of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nashville, TN. Shortly after completing her M.Div. degree she was ordained through the National Baptist Convention, USA.
Tonya also earned a certificate in Youth and Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary and is a trained and certified Spiritual Director. She recently earned a second Master’s degree in Counseling from Southern Methodist University. Tonya also served as a counseling intern at the SMU Center for Family Counseling. She is currently working toward her licensure as a professional counselor in the state of Texas.
Michele’s first experience with Project Transformation was serving as a volunteer in the one-to-one Reading Program during the 2017 Summer Program. In September 2017, she joined the staff as a part-time Partnerships Associate working in volunteer management. After spending nearly a decade as a middle and high school teacher in a variety of settings, Michele knows how important it is to build literacy and leadership skills from an early age. After determining she wanted to work solely in support of underserved children and youth, Project Transformation became the perfect fit and allows her to utilize her technical and leadership skills as a teacher in support of the students we serve. Michele has a B.A. in History and is a certified teacher of Secondary Social Studies 7-12 grade.
Michele is a Texas native, who was raised on an 800 acre cattle ranch in the Texas Hill Country. She enjoys spending time in the outdoors with her husband, Scott, and daughter, Sara.
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.
Alyson joined Project Transformation as the Executive Director in June 2015. She grew up in Denton, Texas, raised in the Methodist church at First United Methodist Denton. Alyson followed in her family’s tradition and attended The University of Texas, where she received a BA in Spanish, with a minor in Business Administration. After spending a few years traveling and one teaching fifth grade at Houston ISD’s Outdoor Education Center (similar to Project Transformation’s Urban Camp), Alyson returned to UT for law school. During her legal career, which began at a large, national firm in Dallas, Alyson devoted much of her time as a volunteer to the community – providing pro bono legal services, serving on committees and boards of local non-profit organizations, being active in the Junior League of Dallas, and serving as a lay leader at First United Methodist Church. For Alyson, working for Project Transformation combines her commitment to service, passion for literacy and youth development, and love for the United Methodist Church.
Alyson and her husband, Jonathon, live in East Dallas with their daughter, Noelle. Alyson enjoys taking advantage of all that Dallas has to offer, but never turns down the opportunity to travel and explore other parts of the world.
Though she went to school in Oklahoma, Katie returned to her hometown of Plano, Texas to start her postgrad life. Katie graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 2016 where she earned a B.S. in Strategic Communications and a minor in Sociology. While in school, she was a member of Alpha Delta Pi and was also a homecoming director for her sorority. Before working at Project Transformation, Katie interned at the Grant Halliburton Foundation, a suicide prevention and mental health education nonprofit in Dallas, where her interest in nonprofit work grew. She also does freelance graphic design and videography work, and continues to volunteer at Grant Halliburton Foundation.
Mental health is very important to Katie and she takes it into serious consideration in all aspects of her life and work. She loves working with people and strives to be a proactive and positive member of society. She is also very passionate about community involvement, and supports both local businesses and art in Dallas. As a supporter of all things local, she can often be seen at various local concerts, art galleries, and theater productions. When she’s not working or stuck in traffic, Katie enjoys painting, graphic design, eating ice cream, and spending time with her friends and family. When she has a free weekend, she goes back to OSU for football games (even though she doesn’t like football). Go pokes!
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.
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 is a recent graduate of Texas Christian University, where she received a B.S. in Psychology. Go Frogs! Currently, she is working on her master's degree in counseling at Texas A&M Commerce, in the hopes to become a Licensed Professional Counselor and work with children and adolescents with depression and anxiety. When she is not studying or working in the office, Katy stays busy as a youth intern for First United Methodist Church in Richardson. In her spare time, Katy loves to watch TCU football, hang out with friends and family, drink coffee, and smile.
Lynne comes to Project Transformation with a wide knowledge of church experience. She received her BA from San Francisco State University and has a Masters of Theological Studies from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. Lynne has worked with churches of all sizes and has a passion to connect churches to their own unique mission. She loves engaging youth and young adults in mission and connecting churches to the needs of the community. She brings a wealth of experience of working with volunteers and enjoys helping engage them in missions in vital ways.
In her spare time, she enjoys time with her family and whatever adventures they take together. Most recently, they all learned to skydive at an indoor facility.