who are compelled by their faith to use their unique gifts and talents collectively to provide the best overall experience for the children they serve. From continually learning from one another to building on each other's strengths, the staff is modeling the very thing they are teaching. Being a part of the Path Project team is more than showing up to work, it's creating a lasting impact that can change not only one child's life but the entire family and a whole community!
Jim and his wife Melinda co-founded Path Project in 2009 while Jim was serving as the Executive Pastor at Graystone Church in Loganville, GA. As Path Project grew Jim eventually left his role in the local church in 2013 to serve full-time as Path Project’s Executive Director. Jim loves meeting new people and learning new things and is thankful for the amazing families and team members he serves alongside everyday. He and Melinda have two children, Kate and Will, and his favorite thing is connecting people who are different who normally wouldn’t know each other.
Melinda and her husband Jim co-founded Path Project in 2009 after becoming friends with a family living in a mobile home park a few miles from their home. These new friends changed her life forever. Before she founded Path Project she was a summer camp counselor, second grade teacher and autism resource teacher and has always had a passion for children. Her experience with children and families has helped prepare her for her current role as the Program Director for Path Project. She and Jim have two children, Kate and Will, and her favorite thing is seeing people find their place in the world.
Bailie has the incredible gift of creating systems, organizing chaos, and figuring things out. Her understanding of Google Docs, spreadsheets, and office systems bring joy to the entire Path Project team! Her listening ear is an extraordinary gift, and she is a passionate advocate for children who face tough challenges. Bailie and her husband Drew are passionate foster parents on the road to adoption.
Michael is an expert at serving and recruiting others to join the work of Path Project. Michael joined the Path Project team after working and teaching in Romania for 2 1/2 years. During his time in Romania, he led English and Bible classes in government-run centers, ran the village after-school program as well as a transition home for boys who had aged out of the orphanage. Michael created the first coffee bar for volunteers in the Bay Creek Community and he runs on a steady stream of caffeine!
Sheri has been a part of Path Project since the very beginning and has volunteered or worked in every aspect of the program. While working as a community director, Sheri has helped create the framework for all Path Project programs. Her incredible attention to detail has been a valuable asset to the entire organization. She is always well-equipped with a fire extinguisher.
Maira has served in almost every capacity within Path. She’s been a volunteer, an intern, and is now a Community Director. Her personal experience of growing up in a bilingual home allow her a special connection to the children and families in her programs. Maira is a enthusiastic learner and currently balances college studies with planning and leading creative lessons for the young learners in Valley Brook. She serves as an amazing role model to all Path kids.
When you first meet Anissa, you immediately feel her deep love for people. She spent a year of her life sharing this love and serving others in 11 different countries as part of the World Race. Nepal, Ethiopia, and Honduras were the countries that captured her heart the most during that time. After her journey around the world, she began to pray about how God would use her experiences, and every conversation pointed her to Path Project. Anissa’s background of teaching English and preschool and her experiences with home visits and counseling young girls and mothers make her a valuable part of the Path Project team.
The first time you meet Hugo you will immediately recognize his passion and love for empowering and serving children. Hugo grew up in Columbia and remembers helping meet the physical needs of children living on the streets. Hugo learned English when he attended a bilingual school as a child. Hugo and his wife Karen enjoy serving at 12Stone Church where Hugo has worked with students for many years. Hugo is always brainstorming ways to get more children and volunteers involved in Path Project.
Taylor has always had a heart for empowering students and joined Path after years working on a church staff in youth ministry and serving in Honduras. Taylor is also passionate about the important details that take place behind the scenes and are critical to serving children and families well. She is creative in helping new groups and individuals learn about Path and engage with the work that is happening communities.
Lauren is the person you want to sit next to during a boring meeting because she can find humor in every situation. Her life experiences with ADHD and her background in sociology provide valuable insights into her programs and the entire Path Project organization. Lauren loves watching children grow as learners through the use of art and hands-on activities. Plus, she always has extra coats, scarves, sweatshirts, and cold weather gear available for anyone who needs it.
Margaret Jane’s unique life experiences over the past 15 years have helped prepare her to lead the first Path Project outside of Georgia. After college, Margaret Jane taught history in an urban school in Houston with a large immigrant population. Her experiences there and while attending an Indonesian church grew her interest in healthy community development.
A little girl named Jennifer captured Tiffany’s heart many years ago when she signed up to be one of the first Path Project mentors. Since that time, she has volunteered in every possible way! Tiffany focuses primarily on girls in fourth grade through high school students. She is passionate about sharing God’s word and helping the children in her programs develop strong character and faith. Tiffany creatively encourages scripture memory using Coca-Cola!
Summer engages the world with a positive attitude and attacks challenges as an opportunity to grow and become stronger. She spent years as a high school English teacher before joining Path staff, and her favorite teaching memories revolve around time spent empowering students to overcome their more challenging circumstances. Summer joined Path years ago as a mentor and the work captured her heart. Her vibrant personality and enthusiasm bring encouragement to other. Summer recently shared that a few years ago life gave her lemons which later became lemonade. Now, God has opened doors for her to open a lemonade stand.
Juan’s life experiences and successes make him an incredible role model for the children in our programs, especially the boys. Juan grew up in Mexico and moved to the United States when he was 5 years old. At the age of 14 his parents returned to Mexico leaving Juan in the U.S. Juan made good grades and succeeded in high school and in college. He developed a passion for working with at-risk children while serving with an amazing organization Youth With A Mission, YWAM. In 2015 a book entitled Left In America was published about Juan’s life. Juan is a great listener and enjoys discussing way to help children succeed. He’s also a Christian rapper.
Ashley was a dynamic classroom teacher who loved the challenge of working with students who struggled to succeed academically and socially. She saw first hand the connection between success at in school and life at home which made her an amazing fantastic fit for Path Project. Ashley draws from her experiences as a classroom teacher and Path Community Director to help launch new Path sites and programs!
Katie was working her dream job as a 2nd-grade teacher. Then, one of her sweet students shared some family challenges with her. Suddenly, Katie’s thoughts began to shift to the struggles her students were facing after school. Through an incredible chain of events, Katie found herself launching a new Path Project in Countryside Village! She is able to empower children and families during our after-school programs to ensure they are successful in the classroom.
Kristen is a person that can make any space beautiful with her creativity, decorators eye, and love for people. Kristen taught in a variety of settings in Chicago and Nashville before joining the Path Project in the Fall of 2017. She is an expert educator and compassionate leader who desires that every child feel special and loved for the unique way God created them.
Mackenzie joined the Path Project as an intern and has worn many hats along the way. MacKenzie has the amazing gift of identifying the very specific needs of children and helping create opportunities for each child to be successful. Mackenzie coordinates our partnership with FCA soccer, oversees programming for older boys in two communities, loves to chaperone field trips, and at one time had memorized seven entire books of the New Testament!
Meredith has been passionate friend of the children and families living in the Baker & Glover Mobile Home Park for over 10 years. She started and has led a weekly After School Program for them at Gainesville First United Methodist Church. She’s also planned summer camps programs for the children as well. Meredith has watched children from Baker & Glover grow up alongside her own children, and her eyes light up as she shares their success stories. Meredith is a proud member of the Gainesville Community and her faith has grown as she has watched Gainesville First United Methodist Church rally with the Baker & Glover neighborhood.