Board of Directors
Zanna Noe, MEd is a certified teacher, musician, writer, and mother of three sons who has more than 20 years of experience in education. She has been fortunate enough to live and work in different parts of the world. Throughout her diverse experiences she learned that the best thing about each place is meeting great people. She also discovered how strong faith and simple kindness can turn any geographical location into a welcoming home.
Zanna’s teaching adventures include being an ESL teacher in Estonia, working with pre K children in Denmark, leading a piano studio and music programs in Chicago, teaching Russian at the Indiana University, working as a music teacher in Boca Raton, FL and teaching hundreds of students in North Texas.
In 2010 she started writing inspirational materials for her sons and her students, mainly to help with common struggles kids experience every time a big change hits the family. Be it the failing grades and lack of friends or changing homes and media boundaries. By 2017 the collective material became a fourteen volume booklets series titled Under His True Light: Biblical Survival Guides for Everyday Preteens. Some themes were developed into small group curriculums and short videos which were used for teaching at the Gateway Church in Southlake, TX.
Zanna believes the Under His True Light ministry will encourage, equip and inspire preteens as well as their families in many homes, schools and churches around the world.
residing in Dallas, Texas is a nonprofit business consultant with more than 25 years of experience. President of Corporate Connections, a nonprofit management business and a current Associate with National Academic Consulting Services with expertise in nonprofit start ups, nonprofit management, grant research and development for over 300 Churches, grassroots faith-based organizations and community nonprofits. Helped develop the first Nonprofit Certification Program at Collin County Community College. Co-Founder of the RL Gray Community Development Outreach, Inc. a nonprofit organization providing support to children and families in South Dallas and financial support to Mama Muxima Orphanage and Consoladora dos Aflitos Orphanages in Luanda Angola Africa and the Almighty Arms Liberia Street Outreach Ministry in Monrovia Liberia.
Professional affiliated memberships include the National Association of Professional Women, American Association of Grant Professionals, National Grants Management Association and dear to her heart a Certified Business Mentor for SCORE Chapter in Dallas, Texas. She has successfully helped hundreds of nonprofit organizations in receiving technical assistance in IRS 501c3 certification. Has secured over 3.5 million dollars in grant awards.
Rebecca N. Lopez
HR Professional and Executive Recruiter for the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Born and raised in El Paso, TX, a border town to Juarez, Chihuahua. She has had the best of both worlds growing up. She recently relocated to the Dallas area. She has been in the recruiting industry for 25 years and this has made her an expert in matching the right person to the right job.
She has a passion to help people and a drive to make a difference in this world. She is happily married and has a loving son.
Why Under His True Light?
- Most preteens ages ten to twelve are still receptive to guidance from an adult, which gives a teacher or a parent a last chance to build their character before they become teenagers.
- A growing number of parents today are concerned about the increasing darkness in our media and culture which often leads to aggressive behavior, substance abuse and a sense of hopelessness in the lives of our teens and preteens.
- According to materials published by the Research and Education Association, some of the personal characteristics that have been linked to substance abuse in children are: aggressiveness, emotional problems, inability to cope with stress, and low self-esteem. (TExES Generalist EC-6, Chapter 6 by Luis A. Rosado, Ed. D)
- Millions of tax payers’ dollars are spent on drug/alcohol abuse and suicide awareness programs in schools. But too few prevention programs focused on building character and positive reinforcement have been developed and offered to the students.
- School district budget cuts often affect the number of counselors hired for the school year. In a big school setting, a counselor’s work load often gets in the way of quality one-on-one and small group counseling time. A supplemental guidance program can close the gap and make a difference in children’s lives.
How Did It Start?
The vision and inspiration for the ministry came to me in South Florida, where our family moved from Indiana in 2007. We left our house sitting on the market and signed a short lease at the apartment complex.
Next thing we knew the housing market collapsed. Since we couldn’t sell our house right away we had to rent an apartment for a while. Little did we know that “for a while” would last us three years.
So we were pretty much stuck in an unexpected lifestyle. No fences, no thick walls, no garage doors, no neighborly “How are you? “. I could hardly memorize our neighbors' names. Families kept moving in and out without any notice or goodbye. We quickly learned how beautiful beaches, magnificent mansions and soothing ocean breezes can awkwardly coexist with alcoholism, high crime rates, drugs and brokenness.
I was disappointed… more than that, I felt doomed and unsafe. All I wanted to do was to protect and guard my children against my "unclean," not so loveable neighbors and their unadjusted kids.
I didn’t succeed.
My own kids taught me how to take care of a seven-year-old girl from downstairs who never went inside. Her single mom juggled three jobs to pay the rent.
We learned how to love an eight-year-old boy who had to walk his mom home every night because she was too drunk to do it on her own.
I figured out how to invite a nine-year-old girl to our home. She only saw her mom once a year, and her single dad was raising her.
We worked hard to forgive an unlikable eleven year old boy who bullied every kid in the neighborhood because he was angry with his parents. They had been divorced for years, but still lived in one apartment, sharing just about everything except love.
These kids’ parents weren’t “my kind of people”, to be honest. Not only did I not love them, I didn’t like them at all. They were too different. Some drank; others cursed and wore big tattoos on their arms and legs.
I thought I was doing my best by keeping my kids away from those moms and dads. But just to be nice, I invited them to our church every other week or so, and the attempt failed miserably. They had no interest in religion. Our kids, however, played quite well together and eventually made good friends. Their bond kind of forced me to help the parents, just by listening without judging or by babysitting their kids.
It took me awhile to get adjusted to the idea and finally open my eyes to how “Love your neighbor” doesn’t read as “Love your lovely neighbor”. There’s no mistake. That’s when I started writing short encouraging notes for my kids, their friends and sometimes, for the kids’ parents. Over time they grew into series of booklets titled Under His True Light and became a backbone of our agency.