A Two Year Journey at Casa Linda

Suja with two elementary participants at Casa Linda UMC

Working at Casa Linda for the past two years as Site Coordinator has been such an amazing journey in my life that I will never forget. I joined Project Transformation because I wanted to get my feet wet in the nonprofit world, and I definitely have done so these past two years. I share the same mission as PT, and I carry it through my personal life. I have a passion for people who are underserved, no matter what capacity that might look like. I plan to carry that life mission into my future career. Being raised in an immigrant household, learning two different languages, and learning to adapt to two different cultures, I share the same upbringing as many of the kids we serve. So I know that God has put me in this position for a reason for such a time as this.

I couldn’t have run such a successful program at Casa Linda without the special people at Casa Linda. Pastor Minor, for one, has been such a special person to the families and their children who attend Project Transformation. I am so grateful for his support these past two years, and I am grateful for the time that I have worked with him. The many church members who serve as our volunteers have encouraged and built up my time here. Brianna Brown, Vickie, Mr. Allyn, and Mary Ann are some of the many who have helped our kids with reading, homework, and anything that we need at Casa Linda. They have such generous hearts and have inspired me so much with their humbleness and dedication to God’s work. Lastly, our parent volunteers and LITES (high school volunteers) are the incredible light of the program, and they are one reason why Project Transformation’s mission has succeeded at Casa Linda. They carry the torch that PT brings to this neighborhood. They care about their community and give back in whatever form that is needed and without any hesitation. They care about the well-being of their kids, siblings, and neighbors. Eva, a parent volunteer and president of the Parent Group at Casa Linda, is a shining example of leadership in community. She was recently awarded “Volunteer of the Year” by Dallas After School Network for her leadership and volunteering. Kesha, another parent volunteer, who is a mother of child who had such bad behavior when he entered PT’s program, has said that her child has been transformed by PT in the past two years they have been at Casa Linda. Finally, our LITEs who are such an amazing example to their siblings, nephews, nieces, and cousins have deeply been transformed by this program, and I am proud to say that they will be exceptional future interns.

I am so proud of the work that has been done at Casa Linda by all these people that I have worked with. I can leave this place knowing that God has touched the lives of everyone who has entered the doors of Casa Linda, including me. Because it’s not just me or my team that has done the transforming of the families and participants in this program, but we have also been transformed. That is definitely a miracle from God.

Suja Chacko
Site Coordinator, Casa Linda UMC
The University of Texas at Dallas


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