The mission of The Encouragement Project is to cultivate a community of giving and service in North Georgia, following the words and example of Jesus.
It is our hope that through this ministry you will find encouragement to truly live where you are, and to use the gifts you have been given. We strive to provide a place of rest from expectation, and present a change of perspective on what can be We are all created differently, with different abilities and capacities for action and knowledge. And we are all uniquely special and valued by our creator, the one true God. At The Encouragement Project, our heart is to see people encouraged to know and love Jesus more - for out of that life flows service, action, and rest. God gives abundantly good gifts, and walks faithfully with those who believe in Him - through rough storms and beautifully clear weather. We pray you will look for Him in all that you do.
STEPHANIE CERVANTES - CEO, Founder After lots of prayer, planning, and fermenting the idea for close to ten years, Stephanie founded The Encouragement Project (TEP) in 2015. With a love of crochet (passed down from her grandmother), a love of writing (discovered while serving as a missionary in Europe for seven years), and a heart for helping and encouraging others (which the Lord has deepened over time), she began TEP with just two projects (and a journal full of other ideas). It has been a joy for Stephanie to see how God has grown this effort to include more ways of blessing others, and more people who are involved. She most loves learning more about Jesus, spending time with her husband and two children, encouraging and helping people, gardening, and long walks.
JAMI SINGH - Chairman of the Board (beginning 1.2023) Jami is the co-Founder/President of JSC Nexus, a search firm based in north Atlanta, GA. Having grown up in a military family, she has lived in several parts of the US and in England. Jami enjoys Bible studies, growing her business, spending time with friends and family, hiking, biking, camping, gardening, reading, and traveling. She also volunteers her time and resources to help with organizations such as Family Promise, Ciudad de Angeles, Meals by Grace, and Helping the Elderly. Jami, her husband, and their two Beagles reside in Cumming, Georgia, where she is a member of Grace Chapel Church of Christ. She has a daughter and son-in-law that reside in Athens, Georgia.
REBA SHACKELFORD - Board Treasurer, CFO Since the beginning of TEP in 2015, Reba has been committed to helping fulfill its mission in many ways as an advisor, project assistant, and board member. Having spent thirty-five years as a school teacher and administrator, and a private piano teacher, she now enjoys her retirement years with her family, especially her four grandchildren. Reba has been a church pianist and choir director of both children and adult choirs, and currently attends Ebenezer Methodist Church in Roswell, Georgia. She first sat on the board from 2016-2019, and began serving a second term in 2021.
DR. SHERRY TAYLOR - Board member Sherry will join the board in February 2023.
JULIE SWANGER- advisory board member Julie is a Senior Portfolio Advisor for Northern Trust (effective January 2023), offering holistic wealth management services for individuals, families, privately-held businesses, foundations and endowments. When Julie first saw TEP’s direction toward supporting and uplifting often overlooked community members, she was inspired to help fulfill the mission by offering her business perspective. Julie currently resides in Sarasota, Florida, is mom to two college-aged daughters who are “the light of my life,” and attends South Shore Community Church. She served on the TEP board for three years (2020-2022).
SARAH GRAVES - advisory board member, project development During her career, Sarah worked as a paralegal, preschool teacher, classroom paraprofessional, office manager, and bookkeeper. When she retired, she felt the only thing missing from her “retirement chapter” was the “giving back” piece. That’s when she and TEP found each other. In addition to the various ways she serves with TEP, Sarah enjoys traveling, Bible studies, swimming, knitting, reading, and gardening. Sarah and her husband live in Alpharetta, Georgia, are members of Alpharetta First United Methodist Church, and have two grown sons. She served on the board for three years (2018-2020).
We are deeply grateful for ALL those who volunteer in a wide variety of ways through TEP - knitting, crocheting, quilting, sewing, sorting/labeling items, folding/decorating/filling gifts, donating/processing books, washing/packing stuffed animals, running a drive, writing, editing, packing, delivering, planning, creating...etc! Whew! In fact, our volunteers have spent over 42,500 hours helping, serving, and encouraging over 25,000 people! We SO appreciate those who are a part of these efforts, and we would love to have you join us!
If you would like to volunteer with any of our current projects, or as part of our giving team, let us know by clicking here!