Paul Costello- Executive Director Project CHANGE
Paul Costello is the director of the Center for Narrative Studies (www.storywise.com) and a pioneer in narrative theory and practice, having studied with Michael White, the father of narrative therapy. In addition to writing and teaching, Paul directed the Washington-Ireland Program from 1998-2008. When he stepped down from this role, he received public recognition from the US Congress and the Northern Ireland Assembly for his contribution to building a new story for Northern Ireland and discovering in the process, a powerful narrative way of peace-building. In 2009, he expanded this method to the Middle East, founding an innovative narrative training project called NewStoryLeadership for young Palestinian and Israeli activists. He is also writing and teaching and eager to share the findings of his latest research. He has worked with NASA, the US Department of Treasury, Lockheed Martin, AmeriCorps and been guest lecturer at universities and colleges across the world. He has taken over the reins of Project Change Montgomery and is eager to share his international experience with local young leaders working with AmeriCorps.
Upon her graduation from Simmons College in 1967, Judy Lapping began her teaching career in Montgomery County Public Schools. After receiving her master’s degree at the American University, she expanded her educational career by becoming a counselor, assistant principal and principal. After 14 very rewarding years as the principal of Travilah Elementary, Judy retired from MCPS. When Project CHANGE was funded as the first AmeriCorps program in Montgomery County, Judy was asked to become the program director, and she and Project CHANGE Montgomery have completed 13 years of service together. Judy has served on the Board of Directors of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School, the B’nai Israel Congregation and the Board of New Story Leadership for the Middle East. Her greatest joys in life are her family. In 2014, Judy decided to take a long deserved and extended sabbatical and handed over the reins to international educator and writer Paul Costello but she continues to support and advise on the current program.
Dr. Robert Anastasi has more than three decades of supervisory and management experience as an elementary school principal, program administrator and teacher. He has experience in leading both the Maryland and Montgomery County, Maryland Business Round Tables for Education, and has served as President of the Maryland Association of Elementary School Administrators. He has written a book for school administrators and made presentations at national conventions. While serving as Principal of Takoma Park Elementary School in Takoma Park, Maryland, Dr. Anastasi successfully implemented a U.S. Department of Education grant (Project Developmental Continuity) connecting Head Start and elementary education. He has also been a long time supporter of international education and brings to the Board a deep understanding of the local non-profit sector in this part of Maryland, where Project CHANGE Montgomery operates. He is taking the lead on development and policy and contributes to the mentor- training program of AmeriCorps Project CHANGE Montgomery.
Khadija Barkley has been the Executive Director of the George B. Thomas Learning Academy – AmeriCorps Partner and sponsoring NGO, and its signature program, Saturday School – since July of 2015. Prior to joining the organization, Mrs. Barkley was an administrator with Montgomery County Public Schools, serving six years as Principal of the Roberto W. Clemente Middle School in Germantown.
Laura Frene- Accountant and Financial Manager Project CHANGE
Project CHANGE’s Accountant Laura Frene, was part of the founding team of the program from its inception in 2001. She is a CPA and independent financial consultant. Previously, she was the CFO of the Montgomery County Chamber Workforce Corporation, and staff accountant for Regardie, Brooks and Lewis.
Ahmed Mansour – Director of Communications and Video Production
Ahmed Mansour serves as Project CHANGE’s communications director, in charge of producing the recruitment and graduation videos and also, serves as part of the faculty training the team in media awareness. He has also produced the training films for MYSCORE. He is an NYU graduate from the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He directed, produced, edited and filmed Brooklyn Inshallah, a feature documentary on the first Arab American to ever run for the New York City Council. POV Magazine wrote, “Ahmed Mansour has made a verité film about democracy in action.” He was named the “2019 MountainFilm Emerging Filmmaker Fellow” that is based in Telluride, Colorado.
Jack Morton- Program Assistant
Paul Smith – Chief Evaluation Officer