Lauren 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 God-given potential.
Preparing the next generation of leaders to continue this type of important community-based work, with local churches serving as the catalyst for that transformation, is another passion of hers. Joining Project Transformation North Texas combines Lauren’s commitment to her faith, to serving others, 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 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 Richard (ri-‘shərd), live in Keller with their son, Jack and daughter, Grace. They are also proud parents of three adult children, Brandon, Evan and Drew.
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.
Cristian Gomez is a Dallas native and a former PT Corps Member, having served as an AmeriCorps Member in Dallas with Project Transformation. He is currently a graduate student at the University of North Texas at Dallas pursuing a master's degree in Public Leadership. His undergraduate degree is in Social Science with an emphasis in Sociology. Throughout his time in college, he served with Project Transformation for three years during the Afterschool Program and four summers. His roles have included Reading Coordinator, Site Coordinator, and Program Quality Coach, giving him a vast array of experiences on the Program Team. He is committed to serving his home community and making a positive impact in the lives of everyone he encounters. During his free time, he enjoys training for half marathons, going to coffee shops, and spring time with family and friends.
Erin joined the staff in September of 2018 as the National Leadership Fellow working on alumni engagement over the course of the year. 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.
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.
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.
Renee joined Project Transformation as Director of Finance and Operations in April 2019 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.