A Mexican-American born and raised in the border town of El Paso, Texas, Adriana began volunteering with Casa Chirilagua as an interpreter and mentor in 2011, then joined the staff in 2012. As Executive Director she helps bridge the gap between our families, students, staff, volunteers, churches and school partners. She holds a Bachelors in Theater Arts.
A California native now on the East Coast, Marissa provides support to the programs team and works to connect Casa’s community partners with our programming. She joined the staff in 2016 and is passionate about walking alongside our families as they develop as leaders. She holds a bachelors degree in International Affairs with a Public Health concentration from George Washington University.
Community Development Director
Liz recently moved to Virginia from Guadalajara, Mexico, and joined Casa Chirilagua in September 2017. She has worked to support human rights internationally and is now dedicated to promoting a positive community and strong social bonds within the local community.
Elementary Programs Director
Diana’s first connection with Casa Chirilagua was as a Kids Club student when she was just 8 years old. After being the first in her family to receive a high school diploma, she is also now the first to attend college, studying to receive her bachelor’s degree in education. Diana grew up in Chirilagua and has a passion for working with children. She is proud to be a part of Casa Chirilagua which she says has been a haven to many in the community.
Teen Programs Director
Rebeca grew up in DC and has a passion for youth, ministry, and community development. She brings her experiences as a teacher, AmeriCorp and Peace Corps member to the table along with a love for the Latino community. She holds a Bachelor of Science with a concentration in Public Health and Hispanic Studies from the College of William and Mary.
As a first generation Salvadorean-American, Jose was raised in the Northern Virginia area. He has attended Northern Virginia Community College and currently attends George Mason University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science. Jose believes that positive influences help shape perspectives. He facilitates this by matching youth in the Chirilagua neighborhood to adult mentors while building relationships with families, volunteers and schools.
Kate is a long-time friend of Casa going back to the prayer meetings of 2007 that led to the founders moving into Chirilagua. She’s worked as a campus minister with InterVarsity since 2007 leading the DC Justice Program. Casa Chirilagua has been one of InterVarsity’s key partners since 2009. Serving within Casa alongside people she’s labored with for years is a profound honor. She’s married to JR Denson, a DC native and together they have one son Alexander who’s in public school in DC.
Lauren lived in New Orleans, LA for 20 years before relocating back to Arlington, VA with her husband and family. She joined our staff part time in May 2019 bringing years of experience as a controller for several small family owned companies. She holds a Masters degree in Business Administration and a Bachelors degree in Accounting.
Keren was born in Honduras then came to the U.S. at 14 years of age. She settled within Alexandria, VA eventually graduating from Alexandria City High School. Keren is familiar with navigating the public school system as the first in her family to graduate high school in the U.S. She has a heart for serving others and reflects empathy in her work. This is shown through her work in providing financial relief to families in need through the Emergency Relief Program.
A first-generation Salvadorean American, Cindi was raised in Alexandria. She graduated from T.C. Williams High School. Cindi is the first in her family to attend college and is a freshman at Northern Virginia Community College studying English. She yearns to serve the community and make a difference in the students’ lives. Cindi is passionate about creating a safe space for students hoping to be someone exemplar in their lives by fully embracing them.
As a first generation Honduran-American, Irma has lived in Chirilagua her whole life and started participating in Casa Chirilagua through Bible Study. She will be a freshman at Northern Virginia Community College and plans to pursue a bachelors in Social Work. She is excited to start working as a Local Leader and hopes to make a positive impact in her neighborhood.
Lisa Treviño Cummins
Founder and President, Urban Strategies
Adriana Gómez Schellhaas
Executive Director, Casa Chirilagua
Economist, US Coast Guard
Development Committee Chair
Fundraising and Development Consultant
Security Director, Chemonics International
Strategic Direction Committee Chair
Economist, US Coast Guard
Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton
Finance Committee Chair
Engineer, Clark Construction Group, LLC
Our relational network of volunteers and donors reflects a diverse group of individuals from all over the Washington, D.C. metro area. As a non-profit, we rely on the community for assisting program directors on-site, being mentors, supplying the needs of our food pantry, and everything in between. Each member of our Casa community holds a unique gift, whether time, talent or treasure.