Providing Foster Youth with a Tribe
The champion Project
A trauma informed mentoring program that works in local group homes to help provide stability and consistency in the lives of teens in foster care.
~ Educator Rita Pierson
Elizabeth and Audra have worked with teens in foster care, and those who have aged out of care since 2009. In 2016 Elizabeth and Audra founded the non-profit, We Will Speak that equipped aged-out foster youth to advocate for change in the foster care system. Over their years of working with foster youth, they saw a real need for access to stable, caring adults. That need was the catalyst to them launching The Champion Project in 2019.
Now active in 5 congregate care facilities in the greater Houston area, The Champion Project partners with local churches, providing them with training and support. The churches then provide mentors to youth and teens who desperately need safe and healthy community and connections. The expectation is that as the program grows and is replicated across the state of Texas, more youth will have access to healthy, stable, adult relationships. Those relationships have the power to be instrumental in changing the horrific outcomes that youth face as they age out of foster care.
Elizabeth Chappell graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BA in marketing. After moving to The Woodlands, she ran a successful real estate team for ten years while also volunteering with local foster care organizations. In 2012 Elizabeth was determined to do more for the youth she was serving. She closed down her real estate business and co-founded We Will Speak and The Champion Project. She now spends her time striving to improve the lives of foster youth. Elizabeth is married and a mother of three. In addition to leading The Champion Project, Elizabeth is serving as the:
- President of The Montgomery County Child Welfare Non-Profit Board
- Vice President of The Montgomery County Child Welfare Board
Audra has a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University, and has been working with youth who are in foster care or have aged out of the foster care system since 2009. She is a Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) Practitioner and frequently works with Texas legislators to advocate for teens in foster care living in congregate care facilities. She believes every child deserves a champion, and believes the outcomes for the youth aging out foster care will only change when those youth have access to stable, consistent, adult relationships. Audra is married with 2 children and lives in Spring, Texas.
Nikki is a wife and mom of a 14 year old daughter. She was previously in Finance for 10 years after graduating from the University of Illinois. She became a stay at home mom when her daughter was 3 years old and began to volunteer and work in the schools regularly upon her daughter starting Kindergarten. This is when her passion for working with children began. Upon moving to The Woodlands in 2020 and becoming familiar with The Champion Project, she began as a mentor with the little boys’ home and shortly thereafter became Administrative Assistant for The Champion Project.
Event Coordinator and Community Outreach
Kim is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a BBA in Marketing. She is also a wife and mom of two girls. About 5 years ago, Kim decided to retire from my 14 year sales career in efforts to slow down my family’s busy lives. Stepping away from a full time job has been a huge blessing and has afforded her more time with her husband and kids but also time to honor her passion of serving others. Kim became a Champion Project mentor in January 2021, and from the very first meeting with the little boy’s group home, she knew that this is where God intended for her to be. The foster care system is broken, and it has been painful to see not only the flawed system but also the brokenness of the ‘family unit’ in the world. It is her hope that with every interaction she has with the Champion Project kids, they see the light and hope of Jesus.
Book Bus and Mentor Coach
Dennis loves missions. He has gone on over 35 mission trips. Missions, both local and foreign, are very important to his wife, Joyce, and himself.
Locally Dennis is involved with prison ministry, Adult Sunday School teacher, Geezer Squad, Food Pantry run by Compassion United, The Champion Project, plus an assortment of on call projects for Single Moms ministry and Local Missions projects.
The ministry that has captured his heart and mind in the past couple of years is The Champion Project.
After working in prison ministry for over 20 years, it has become so apparent that working with foster kids, especially in Group Homes, could very easily make a difference in their lives and possibly change their destiny to keep them out of prison and instead on the path to a productive, joyful life. God has blessed Dennis with so many good things, and his response is to give time, resources, and love away to those around who need a hand, a hug, a smile, and a word of encouragement to make their life better. His purpose in life is to continue working in these various ministries and showing God’s unconditional love to all who God places in his path.
Dennis has 2 sons and 5 grandchildren.
Doug Garrison is a partner in the Houston office of Cerity Partners, LLC, a nationally recognized wealth management firm. He and his wife, Geni, have been residents of The Woodlands since 2002 and have three grown daughters. Doug is an active member of The Woodlands Methodist Church and has been on the Board of The Champion Project since March of 2021. He is a graduate of Yale University and has an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sandy received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio and a Master’s and Doctoral degree in nursing from Texas Woman’s University. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings and served as faulty and then department chair at the School of Nursing, The University of Texas, Health Science Center at Houston. Her clinical area of interest has always been community health. Sandy enjoys spending time with her 5 grandchildren and volunteering as a docent at Bayou Bend House Museum.
Corporate Partners and Donor Relations
Corporate Partners and Donor Relations
Lisa enjoys spending time with her husband, two kids, and two dogs. She completed her first Ironman in June of 2022 and looks forward to completing her second one soon.