Paul Costello- Executive Director

Paul Costello is the director of the Center for Narrative Studies ( and a pioneer in narrative theory and practice, having studied with Michael White, the father of narrative therapy. In addition to writing and teaching, Paul directed the Washington-Ireland Program from 1998-2008. When he stepped down from this role, he received public recognition from the US Congress and the Northern Ireland Assembly for his contribution to building a new story for Northern Ireland and discovering in the process, a powerful  narrative way of peace-building. Since 2009, he has been expanding this method in the Middle East, founding an innovative narrative training project called NewStoryLeadership  for young Palestinian and Israeli activists. He is also writing and teaching and eager to share the findings of his latest research. He has worked with NASA, the US Department of Treasury, Lockheed Martin, AmeriCorps and been guest lecturer at universities and colleges across the world. He has taken over the reins of Project Change and is eager to share his international experience with local young leaders working with AmeriCorps Project Change.

Judy Lapping- Founder and Advisor

Upon her graduation from Simmons College in 1967, Judy Lapping began her teaching career in Montgomery County Public Schools. After receiving her master’s degree at the American University, she expanded her educational career by becoming a counselor, assistant principal and principal. After 14 very rewarding years as the principal of Travilah Elementary, Judy retired from MCPS. When Project CHANGE was funded as the first AmeriCorps program in Montgomery County, Judy was asked to become the program director, and she and Project CHANGE have completed 13 years of service together. Judy has served on the Board of Directors of the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School and the B’nai Israel Congregation and is currently on the Board of New Story Leadership for the Middle East. Her greatest joys in life are her family. In 2014, Judy  decided to take a long deserved and extended sabbatical and handed over the reins to international educator and writer Paul Costello but she continues to help recruit and advise the current program.

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