FORT WORTH, Texas (September 1, 2023) — Lena Pope, a nonprofit organization with a 93-year history of improving the lives of children and families in Tarrant County, has appointed Jennifer Carpenter, LCSW, as its new Chief Program Officer.

As Chief Program Officer, Carpenter will oversee Lena Pope’s programs – Early Learning Centers, Counseling Program, School and Community Based Programs, Marty Leonard Chapel, and Amon Carter Center. Part of her role is to evaluate the current and changing needs of the community and determine how Lena Pope can respond proactively to meet community needs, keeping children and families at the center of Lena Pope’s focus. Carpenter will also work collaboratively with the CEO to articulate and implement strategic vision for the agency and provide mentoring and support to staff in all programs.

“Jennifer is dedicated, passionate, and understands Lena Pope on a deep level because of her long-time commitment to our organization. We are thrilled to have her move into this role,” shared Ashley Elgin, Ph.D., Lena Pope CEO.

Carpenter has served in a variety of roles at Lena Pope for the past 28 years, most recently as the Director of Early Learning Programs where she oversaw Lena Pope’s two early learning centers. Mariah Hubbard, previously Director of Lena Pope’s Early Learning Center – HSC, will assume Jennifer’s previous role as Director of Early Learning Programs. Sandye Zdanwic, current Assistant Director of Early Learning Center – Sanguinet will assume responsibility as Director of Early Learning – HSC.

Carpenter earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree in social work from The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and a master’s degree from UTA in human resource management. Carpenter serves on the Early Childhood Services Community Advisory Committee and Early Learning Alliance Leadership Team.

Lena Pope equips children, families, caregivers, and community with a strong foundation through counseling, education, and behavior interventions. Since 1930, Lena Pope has worked to improve child well-being in Tarrant County. Lena Pope provides evidence-based, research- tested programs focusing on prevention and early intervention services that support child development and improve the behavioral and mental health of children and families. For more information, visit

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