Common Good

Working together for the common good in North Lexington.

Common Good Community Development Corporation is a faith-based, non-profit that focuses on programming for children, youth and families living in under-resourced neighborhoods North Lexington.

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
— Nelson Mandela

MEET OUR STAFF

 

LAURA GALLAHER

Executive Director

Laura founded Common Good in 2011 with her husband, John. In 2014 John became the lead pastor at Embrace United Methodist Church, where Common Good is located. They have been doing Christian community development together in North Lexington since 2006 and moved into the neighborhood in 2007. Laura earned her Masters of Social Work from the University of Kentucky in 2010. Her professional experiences have included working at the Lexington Rescue Mission, Fayette County Schools and in community mental health. Laura is passionate about learning from people, reading, live music, friendships that cross racial and cultural barriers, seeing people achieve their potential, and living the fullest life possible with John.

BRENDA VANEGAS

Elementary Program Director

Brenda joined Common Good's staff in the fall of 2016 and is a recent graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in Psychology. Education is something Brenda worked hard to pursue in her own life and sharing this passion with others is one of her life missions. Throughout college she served as support staff for the Latino Leadership and College Experience Camp at BCTC. Through these experiences, and her own educational journey, she found she had a passion for helping young people fulfill their potential. Brenda is from Mexico and came to the United States as a child in 2000. The second oldest of four children, she is very family oriented and one of her greatest joys is being a big sister. Her hope is that through working at Common Good she can help create opportunities for education and personal growth, just like she had growing up, for the next generation of students.

KARISSA PORTER

Development Director

Karissa has lived in the Castlewood neighborhood since 2005, and her passion is to see this neighborhood and the families in it thrive! She is married to Jeremy and they have two kids, Grant and Athena. Karissa is so excited to join the Common Good family and use her skill set to help the organization keep doing the amazing work it has been doing. Before coming to Common Good, Karissa worked with refugee families here in Lexington for 12 years. She speaks French fluently and will gladly practice anytime with anyone who wants to! She loves to read, sing karaoke, and is known to have epic dance parties with her family. She is an active parent at Arlington Elementary School and is committed to see the common good of this neighborhood.

NORANNE HENDRICKS

Assistant Elementary Program Director

Noranne joined Common Good in August of 2017, and her passion is to help youth obtain resources that can aid in their character development into adulthood. Noranne is a native of Louisville, KY, and has lived in Lexington, KY since 2009 when she started her undergraduate degree in Community and Leadership Development (CLD) at the University of Kentucky. She is currently working on her master's degree in CLD with an interest in Youth Development. Before coming to Common Good, Noranne mentored 7th graders at EJ Haynes Middle School within the Mitchell Family Foundation's Anti-Virus Youth Education program for two years. Noranne is most happy when she is spending quality time with family and friends doing fun activities, such as going to the movies, restaurants, bowling, swimming, skating, hiking, and/or theme parks. Noranne is also an AmeriCorps Member in the FRYSC Corps (Family Resource and Youth Service Centers) program in which her purpose is to serve children and their families by removing barriers.

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PHILIP MANGA

Youth Program Director

Philip is the newest edition to our staff in January 2018. He has a degree in Sociology from the University of Kentucky, where he played Division I soccer. Soccer is a lifelong passion for Philip that goes beyond recreation. For him the sport is about creating a diverse community and offers invaluable opportunities for mentorship. As the JV boys head coach at Henry Clay High School, he has been actively investing in young people and our city's soccer community since 2015. Philip longs to make a difference in Lexington, the place that became home for him in 2005. He is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and experienced many of the same challenges our students have faced. His zeal to use his gifts and his journey to serve others is contagious.

 

MEET OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

BECCA HUGHES President| Assistant Design Manager, Gray Construction

KATIE GRABAU Secretary | Law Clerk, U.S. District Court

CLINT LONG Treasurer | Vice President, Fifth Third

SETH BURNETT | Construction Manager, Congelton-Hacker

TERRY FOLEY | Retired Vice Principal, Winburn Middle School

TOM EBLEN | Retired United Methodist Pastor

JOHN GALLAHER | Pastor, Embrace Church

ARPITA EUSEBIUS | Marriage & Family Therapist

CIARA LEROY | Freelance Artist & Designer

PAIGE COMMODORE | Community Marketing & Education Representative

HANNAH JAMES | Children's Pastor, Centenary UMC

JEREMY HOBBS | Recreation Director, Centenary UMC

JOHN BLAINE | Education Specialist, University of Kentucky

VALENTIN GOMEZ | Parent Leader & Neighborhood Resident

Copyright© 2016 Common Good Community Development Corporation | Lexington, Kentucky | 859.333.5336 contact@commongoodlex.org