Project Change continues to work for area teens
June 12, 2002
Terri Hogan
Staff Writer

Submitted photo

Members of Project Change, the organization comprised of teens and adults committed to providing positive opportunities for youth, show off the award they earned in April from Drawing the Line on Under-21 Alcohol Use. Pictured are (bottom, left to right) David Hines, Leeza Luncheon, Khalid Walker, Katie Judge and Richard Hall; and (top, left to right) Ashley Harvard, Laura Chite, Mikey Dunn, P.J. Pleasant-Jones, Kristina Bryn, Tony Dunn and Julie Katz.



Project Change, the organization comprised of teens and adults committed to improving the greater Olney community by offering positive opportunities for its youth, recently celebrated another year of growth by installing new officers.

About 70 people took part in the May 13 event at Sandy Spring National Bank.

Among those who attended were three former teen presidents of Project Change: Brandon Bryn, Mandy Woodfield and Ellery Johannessen.

The officers were installed by John Ferguson, president of the Olney Chamber of Commerce.

The teen officers are Leeza Luncheon and Khalid Walker, presidents; Katie Judge and Nisha Tamaskar, vice presidents; and David Hines, Meredith Murray and Ashley Harvard, secretaries.

Adult officers are Ellen Lent, president; Stephanie Bryn, vice president; and Loretta Pleasant-Jones and Pamela Dunn; secretaries.

The organization also includes a Board of Directors, comprised of both adults and teens, as well a Board of Advisors.

The organization, founded in 1998, has been described as a leading-edge youth organization that serves as a model for other community-based teen organizations around the county.

In April, Project Change received an award for its efforts to reduce underage drinking from the Montgomery County-based organization Drawing the Line on Under-21 Alcohol Use.

Last month, the adult advisors to Project Change -- Lent, Bryn and Anne Moriarty -- earned the Youth Service Award from the Olney Chamber of Commerce.

The organization is expected to file an application to become a nonprofit organization today, which will allow previous and future contributions to be tax-deductible.

Freeman Business Solutions, a division of the Carl M. Freeman organization, provided in-kind consultation to help Project Change achieve nonprofit status.

Project Change hosts several alcohol-free events for teens in the community throughout the year.

During last month's Olney Days Celebration, for example, the organization hosted an evening of sports and music at Olney Manor Park, and its members participated in the Olney Days parade.

Upcoming events include:

*Finals Frenzy at the Olney Library, where librarian Fran Ware has offered a place to study and refreshments after regular library hours. Teens must sign up to attend, and adults will chaperone.

*Project Change members will provide volunteer support at Montgomery General Hospital's annual Picnic and Bazaar on July 23.

*A summer retreat is planned for July 27.

One of the organization's original goals remains: to establish a teen center in the central district of Olney to provide space for teens to gather and have fun.

For more information on Project Change, visit its Web site at www.projectchange.info, or call 301-443-6091.