DC127 is truly a group effort.
While we can’t list everyone here, there are many people that have dedicated time, energy, and talents to make our work possible.
We recognize that we would not exist without these volunteers and consider them a core part of the DC127 team.
Chelsea is the founding Executive Director of DC127. She is originally from Aurora, Colorado where she learned about foster care at an early age when she gained three siblings from foster care and adoption. Before DC127, she worked with a center for vulnerable children in Swaziland, and at The Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative on their LRA Crisis Tracker, a map and database that tracked and analyzed the movements and child abductions of a rebel army in Central Africa. These experiences further motivated Chelsea to work and advocate for the needs of children in vulnerable situations.
Chelsea launched DC127 in 2013 alongside Amy and Aaron Graham at The District Church and considers it an honor to lead this network. Chelsea has a bachelor's degree in English from Nyack College and is currently pursuing an MBA at Georgetown University.
Raessa grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska and began her career in social work as an employment specialist for adults with developmental disabilities. Motivated by a passion to work with vulnerable populations, Raessa moved to Boston in 2011 to attend Boston University and graduated with Masters degrees in social work and public health. Through social work internships at Creighton University Medical Center and World Vision International, Raessa saw how families and communities play a vital role in ensuring children experience healthy outcomes. Raessa moved to DC in 2014 and began working at PATH on a malaria vaccine project, as well as volunteering at DC127. As a volunteer, she gained a renewed passion for mobilizing communities to address the needs of vulnerable children and families and finds it an honor to be on staff at DC127. Raessa values time with her family and friends and loves exploring DC.
Jason grew up in Southeast Washington, DC. His involvement with communities of need began as a member of the Boy Scouts of America and continued into high school, when he focused primarily on homeless and transient populations. At Georgetown University, Jason became a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated and - more importantly - met his wife Serena. After graduation Jason spent much of his early career working in the education sphere before the non-profit community. Through several stops - the longest being at the National Academy of Engineering - Jason heeded the call back to direct service and joined the team at DC127. In Jason’s free time he is a freelance culture and arts journalist; his work has been featured in the Baltimore Sun, Huffington Post, and the Northwest Current. Jason and Serena are happily awaiting the birth of their son due in July 2018, and they are equally excited about the graduation of their older son Christian from Morehouse College in 2020.
Chrissy spent her formative years moving all over the U.S. as the daughter of a military pilot. She studied musical theatre in college and after leaving, pursued a call to mission work. She worked with Serge in Dublin, Ireland, where she lived for many years. Chrissy was introduced long-distance to the man who would be her husband, Justin, while still living overseas. They ended up together in St. Louis, Missouri, where they both attended Covenant Theological Seminary. In seminary, they actively supported friends who were fostering and got to see that practical love in action. Chrissy is happy to be settling in D.C. with Justin and their two children, Audrey and Judah.
Aaron and Amy Graham
What started in Aaron and Amy's home just a few years ago has now grown into a church reaching hundreds and hundreds of people in two locations in our nations capital. They first fostered a teenage boy in Boston and are now parents to Elijah and Natalie who are both adopted from South Carolina. Before working at The District Church Amy served as a foster care social worker in DC. She has degrees from Boston University’s School of Social Work and Golden Gate Theological Seminary. Aaron has a background in community organizing around issues of poverty and injustice, and has a masters in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School and a doctorate in missiology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Aaron and Amy have a heart to see churches in DC unite and dream of the day when families are waiting for children, rather than children waiting for families.