DeShauna Hollie grew up in Waco and attended Waco public schools. She moved away to attend college in Illinois at Greenville College where she studied History and Political Science. After college she spent some time volunteering and living in an intentional Christian Community in Comer, GA called Jubilee Partners. At Jubilee she had the opportunity to work with refugees, teaching English. After leaving Jubilee, DeShauna moved to Philadelphia to attend graduate school at Eastern University’s Tony Campolo School for Social Change where she studied Urban Economic Development. She moved back to Waco in late 2008 to be closer to family and spent many years working as an Early Childhood Educator. Since being back in Waco, DeShauna has spent a lot of time volunteering on community boards and committees that focus on a range of Waco centered initiatives that include education, immigration, and performing and theater arts. DeShauna is excited to join the Grassroots team as a community organizer, seeing it as a great opportunity to mix her previous education and experience with her desire to stay engaged with her community. When she’s not serving on boards and committees, DeShauna likes to spend time riding her bike around town, writing haikus and trying to grow plants.
Brian is a fourth generation Wacoan with a History degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He grew up attending First Methodist Waco and was the youth director there after graduating from UT. He then spent a year in Ecuador walking alongside church planters with Every Community for Christ. Brian met his wife Emily in Austin through YoungLife and they were married in 2012. Shortly after, they were off to Jordan and China for a year to learn how to mobilize the Christian church overseas. Since moving back to Waco, Brian has had 4 children with the last being a set of twin boys. He enjoys outdoor adventures and making furniture in his spare time. For the past 5 years Brian has been in the construction industry working to learn all aspects of residential building and remodeling. At Grassroots Brian will be leading our Bounce program which serves Waco by doing exterior home repairs through volunteer groups. He will also be overseeing our roof repair program. “Working at Grassroots is about using our gifts and abilities to serve those in our community and that’s a mission I can get behind.”
Elizabeth is a native of Central Texas. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in English and has taught in both middle and high school. She has her husband have 3 beautiful children, who keep her busy with their sports, Scouts and participation in youth church groups. Elizabeth became a bookkeeper after her children were born to give her flexibility in her schedule and to venture into starting her own business. She has been blessed with many wonderful clients, and feels especially thankful to be part of the Grassroots family since 2016. Elizabeth expressed what inspires her to work for Grassroots, “I get to work alongside an amazing team of friends who are making an indelible impact on Waco communities from the Grassroots level. It gives me joy to be even a small part of something so vital to the prosperity of the communities we serve.”
ML is originally Hemphill in East Texas, but has lived in Central Texas, Waco for all of his adult life. He is very active in his church, New Road Church of Christ, where he boasts of participating in almost every group or activity….except for singing and preaching. ML has always liked construction and building things. He was the main architect and construction manager for New Road church, as well as his previous church. He has served on many business development boards, like the Better Business Bureau and has also served as President of a local Building Association. ML has been the Building Manager for Grassroots for about 16 years and shares his passion about his work, “I am very proud to be serving with an organization that focuses on helping to development the community. We have made wonderful relationships with great families and have been able to build homes for them.”
Mike grew up as a military brat traveling all around the pacific ocean, landing in San Angelo, Texas. He is a graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in Electrical Engineering. But he claims that he used to root for Baylor 364 days of the year. Mike spent 6 years as a power plant engineer and 6 years at Nortel Networks before coming to Waco to serve with Grassroots. Married to his wife Brook, they raised two young men and now have one young grandson. Mike cut his teeth serving families while serving on mission trips to Mexico and Peru. “Let’s go help some people.” is how Mike ends each week staff meeting. When he is not serving in Waco, he is in the mountains hiking (MikeshikeWaco)or with his wife traveling in very remote places. ” I am proud to work with talented team members and community leaders in serving Waco.”