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Teresa Lenling, CEO of Hope Cottage photo credit: Simon Luna

Hope Cottage, a nonprofit that fosters nurturing homes for North Texas children through adoption, foster care, education and parent support, has named Teresa Lenling as its new CEO, effective immediately. A proven nonprofit leader experienced in strategic management, community engagement and program design, she most recently served as vice president of school and community engagement at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas.

“We believe Teresa is the ideal leader to help Hope Cottage continue building on its strong, 102-year foundation of adoption services through our expanding work in foster care, new parent support and teen education,” said Kerry Fitzgerald, chair of the Hope Cottage board of directors. “As we embark on a new strategic plan this year, she has the right mix of expertise and community connections to increase the impact and visibility of our work, ensuring children grow up in the best environments possible.”

Lenling’s experience designing and advancing education programs to reach the Perot Museum’s diverse regional audiences aligns with Hope Cottage’s work educating and supporting current and potential parents across North Texas, from young birth mothers and teens at risk for pregnancy, to those looking to foster children or grow their families through adoption.

“Every parent is on a continual learning journey on how to best nurture their child,” said Lenling. “I can think of no mission more worthy, no challenge I am more honored to take on, than helping parents of all backgrounds be educated and prepared to give children safe, loving homes that help them grow and thrive.”

At the Perot Museum, Lenling crafted the vision and operations for the museum’s education programs when it opened its new downtown Dallas location in 2012. In addition, she designed the museum’s new TECH (Tinker, Engineer, Create, Hack) Truck mobile maker initiative, launching a comprehensive outreach and engagement strategy that broke down barriers and engaged communities that do not typically visit a science museum. These and other program initiatives, such as a STEM Teacher Institute and offsite school programs, grew in part due to her collaborative work with key community organizations and leaders, as well as her contributions to sponsorship and philanthropic strategy.

Prior to her work at the Perot Museum, Lenling was the director of public engagement at the Science Center of Iowa. She is currently completing her MBA this year through Baylor University and holds bachelor of science degrees in both psychology and biology from the University of South Dakota. She has served on the Deans Advisory Council for the School of Arts, Technology and Emerging Communication at University of Texas Dallas, the STEM Advisory Committee for Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas and the sySTEMS Club Board for Parish Episcopal School.

Lenling succeeds Brooks Quinlan, who served as Hope Cottage CEO since 2017 and is taking a personal sabbatical to travel across North America.

Hope Cottage is a nonprofit organization that nurtures and builds families through education, parent support, foster care and adoption services. Founded in 1918, the organization is the oldest non-sectarian, nonprofit adoption center in Dallas. The organization has expanded its services to include other programming that ensures all children grow up in safe, nurturing homes, including licensing and placing children with foster families, providing one-on-one support to young mothers and bringing preventative, healthy relationship education to teens in schools. In 2019, Hope Cottage merged with Dallas-based Alley’s House and adopted its program helping pregnant and parenting young mothers achieve academic, workplace and childrearing success. For more information about Hope Cottage, visit, or connect on Facebook @HopeCottage or Instagram @Hope_Cottage.

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