Lisa’s work with students and children began over 35 years ago as she began her career in youth and campus ministry. After serving communities in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Florida, Lisa and her family relocated to North Carolina in 2009 to serve as Youth Pastors at CityGate Church. In 2013 she was entrusted with the position of Outreach Pastor with a mission to invest in the community. That mission grew and expanded into the CityGate Dream Center, which defines itself as “a community center to inspire, develop, train, and advocate for children, students, and their families”.
Lisa’s impact within the walls of the CityGate Dream Center is significant. The collective impact of the Dream Center reaches above 700 middle and high school students. One of the passions of the Dream Center is a deep connection with Latinx and black families who call Burlington home. Due to Lisa’s leadership and embrace of all people, the Center is full of laughter, conversations in many languages, trust, hope, and love. The Center fulfills the immediate needs of underserved people in the Alamance County community in concrete and tangible ways: backpack and school supply distribution, free haircuts, kids camps and sports leagues, job and health fairs, diverse cultural celebrations, fundraisers for community members in need, and fun days for children of the community.
Lisa’s impact outside of the walls of the Center is equally significant. The trust, hope, and love members of the community experienced were crucial as Lisa led herculean efforts to meet the needs of children’s families during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Center provided a drive-thru meal distribution, emergency diaper and hygiene product bank, free learning pod, and FEMA vaccination site for the community, particularly touching the lives of Latinx and Black families. Lisa and the Dream Center were Leading the Way in caring for the community during this time.
Lisa furthers the Center’s reach by partnering with local organizations such as Alamance Community College, Alamance Partnership for Children, Alamance-Burlington School System, Burlington Police Department, Cone Health-Alamance Regional, Elon University, NC Department of Health and Human Services and others. The partnership and support of these organizations is crucial as Lisa advocates for and serves Alamance County and particularly those communities that have previously experienced a lack of resources.