Courtney Laverty

COURTNEY LAVERTY

Chief Executive Officer

Courtney brings over twenty years of nonprofit experience to the THRU Project team. She has worked for national organizations such as the United Way and CASA as well as grassroots organizations specializing in teen counseling, shelter for foster youth and mentoring. She graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and went on to earn a Master in Public Administration (MPA) from Northern Illinois University. Courtney’s commitment to the fundraising profession led her to become a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) in 2020.

Courtney grew up near Chicago and discovered the joy of giving back at an early age. Her desire to help others reach their full potential has been a guiding force throughout her career. She and her husband moved to San Antonio with their three children in 2015. Courtney serves on the board of Impact San Antonio and on the Advocacy Committee of The Nonprofit Council.

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Alyssa Tamu

ALYSSA BAFIDIS

Mentor Program Coordinator

Alyssa graduated from Texas A&M University, College Station with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. While attending school, she interned with Child Protective Services and Scotty’s House, a non-profit child advocacy center. It was her work within these two organizations that solidified her desire to work with disadvantaged youth in Texas.

THRU Project has continued to nurture her passion as well as open her eyes to another specific population in need, youth in foster care. Although she hopes to eventually obtain a Master’s in Social Work, she continues to find inspiration through the opportunities THRU Project has offered her.

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ERIN GARCIA

Program Coordinator

Erin is from League City, Texas and has called Austin home for the last five years. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a sociology degree in the Spring of 2017. She has six years of experience working with youth in various program settings. She previously worked at Upbring School of Arts and Sciences, beginning as a Teacher Assistant, and eventually joining the school’s administrative team as the Campus Coordinator in 2021. Erin also worked as the Program Director for the nonprofit adventure camp ATX Kids Club. Erin wore many hats in the small nonprofit and gained valuable experience within the Austin nonprofit community. Erin is very excited for a new start in San Antonio and is ready to take on the role of Program Coordinator for THRU Project, working closely with participants in the college housing and mentoring programs.

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Alexandra Hansen

ALEXANDRA HANSEN

Housing Resource Coordinator

Growing up in a military family, Alexandra has had the opportunity to connect with and appreciate people from all walks of life. She graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with her bachelor’s degree in psychology and is currently in a graduate program for Clinical Mental Health Counseling, with the goal of helping adolescents and young adults from under served communities in the future. Alex is passionate about empowering youth to recognize their full potential, and was inspired by THRU Project’s mission of supporting and advocating for young adults as they navigate through their transition from foster care to independence.

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Baylee (1)

BAYLEE HOLSOMBACH

Housing Resource Coordinator
Baylee graduated from Colorado State University in 2021 with a Bachelor’s in Communications and minoring in Child Development. Growing up, she dedicated much of her time to caring for children and volunteering, which cultivated her desire to work with non-profit organizations. Baylee has always had a big heart for giving back and supporting those who are in need; this is what led her to join the Thru Project.
Being a mother herself, she understands the need for resources and support that can be vital in helping youth thrive. She feels proud to be part of an organization that dedicates themselves to providing these essentials to foster youth.

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Alexis Lara THRU Project Staff

ALEXIS LARA

Community Outreach & Development Manager

Alexis graduated from Texas A&M University- College Station with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Minor in Latino and Mexican American Studies. While in school, she interned with a domestic violence shelter, and with the community development department. She moved to San Antonio, where she had the opportunity to teach kindergarten. Her experiences with the kids led her to become aware of the needs of youth in the San Antonio community. Her passion of helping others has led her to THRU Project. At THRU Project she manages all community outreach and special events, tracks program outcomes, and works closely with both volunteers and donors to ensure the success and growth of our mission.

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Chris Lopez THRU Project Staff

CHRIS LOPEZ

Director of Programs

Born and raised in San Antonio, Chris graduated from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi with a Bachelors in Criminal Justice and a Bachelors in Psychology. Chris has worked within the foster care system for over 11 years.  His journey began working as an Investigator with Child Protective Services, and later became a Case Manager with the Preparation for Adult Living Program at BCFS. Chris understands both sides of the foster care system, once a child is removed and the time it takes to work with a youth when they are about to age out or have aged out of the foster care system. He feels very fortunate to continue to work with foster care youth and is excited to be apart of the THRU Project. Chris says, “When everyone in a foster youth’s life has given up on them, why not be that person who can make a difference.”

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Violet Santikos

VIOLET SANTIKOS

Director of Development

Violet brings a diverse background of over twenty years of marketing, public relations, brand management, retail and event planning experience to contribute to the THRU Project team. After working in the marketing industry in Chicago for ten years, and becoming a retail entrepreneur in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Violet is excited to pivot to the nonprofit world to work for a worthy cause, make a positive impact and be a part of the solution. Violet graduated from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Minors in Business and French. She then went on to earn a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University.

Violet was born in San Antonio, grew up in Chicago, and returned to San Antonio in 2017. She is an active member of the Alamo Kiwanis Club.

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