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Our History

Since 2002 we've been equipping Christian teens across the nation to reach their peers for Christ.

Overview & Milestones

Warren Willis, Founder & CEO of National School Project, has been involved in full-time Christian ministry for nearly 60 years. A majority of these years were spent serving with Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) anywhere from the turbulent UC Berkeley campus in the 1960’s to the outskirts of Mongolia.

Upon returning to the States, Warren was heartbroken at the state of America’s public school system. Having spent decades overseas, he never imagined such a mission field could exist right in his hometown of Los Angeles. This realization led Warren to found the National School Project (NSP) in 2002.

2002 | NSP started coaching its first schools in L.A. in 2002. Thanks to many short-term missions trip opportunities, we soon began coaching schools outside of L.A. as well. Since then, we've had the privilege of coaching students from nearly 400 schools across the United States.

2013 | W
e put down our first permanent roots outside of L.A and began a new chapter of ministry in Chicago. This chapter has become our hub for reaching students throughout the Midwest.

2019 | In 2019 we simultaneously launched a new chapter in the San Francisco Bay Area, and our three-year, nationwide Meant for More Campaign. This campaign set us on track to give 1 million students the opportunity to hear the gospel while expanding to 13 new metropolitan areas across the country.

Our Leadership Team

Warren Willis
CEO & Founder

Warren Willis has over 55 years of experience in gospel outreach at home in the United States and abroad. His ministry journey began in the 60’s at UC Berkeley with Campus Crusade for Christ. At the time, the Berkeley campus was known for being anti-establishment, and Warren witnessed to 199 people before a single person came to faith in Christ. After 39 years, with assignments at Berkeley, Micronesia, Canada, the Philippines, and Mongolia, Warren has helped thousands of people come to Christ.

When Warren returned to the US, he was shocked to see the irreligious state of the public schools. Convicted, he founded the California School Project at Biola University in 2002, with the goal of training college students to mentor Christian students at public high schools in the area to reach their peers with the gospel. The ministry expanded steadily and is now known as National School Project: operating out of ministry hubs in California and Illinois.

He continues to lead and inspire NSP to reach every public school in America.

Mark Hopson

Mark Hopson has been with NSP for fourteen years, beginning in 2003 as a Campus Mentor while attending Biola University. After graduating in 2006, he joined NSP full-time as a Chapter Director for the greater Los Angeles area and served in this position for seven years during which time he received an M.A. in New Testament from Talbot School of Theology.

In 2013, Mark moved his family to Chicago, IL, to start three new ministry chapters at Trinity International University, Moody Bible Institute, and Wheaton College, effectively launching what would become a brand new ministry hub to service the Midwest. In 2017, Mark became NSP’s second president.

Mark and his wife Shelley both grew up as missionary kids and now have three young children of their own, Abigail, Anna, Luke, and Caleb. Together they live in Wheaton, IL, and attend College Church.

Kellee Popp
Vice President of Public Relations

As a Biola freshman, Kellee was looking for an outlet to apply what she learned from her associates degree in Biblical Studies at Calvary Chapel Bible College, when she heard the vision of the National School Project from Warren Willis. Convinced of the necessity of this ministry work, Kellee spent three years serving in student leadership before graduating with a B.S. in Christian Teaching in 2007 and joining staff full-time.

Since then, Kellee has served in multiple capacities in NSP as the first Training Director, the first California State Director, and the first Development Director. In these roles, Kellee pioneered the creation of NSP’s Outreach Guide, a training resource that has become the foundation of NSP’s leadership development and mentorship model. Kellee also oversaw and developed HomeTown Trips, an initiative that paved the way for rapid ministry expansion and growth in new areas.

Kellee and her husband Mike live in Long Beach, CA, with their daughters Eisley and Brooklyn, and attend Arbor Road Church where Mike serves as an elder.

Ben Flemming
Vice President of Mobilization & Administration

Ben has been working with NSP for over thirteen years. Starting with volunteer work as a Campus Mentor at Sonora High School, Ben soon joined staff and became the Biola Chapter Director in 2008 after graduating with a B.A. in Humanities-Philosophy. Since then he has also served as NSP’s Director of Central Operations and Human Resources Director, but has definitely found his niche as the VP of Mobilization & Admin.

Ben and his wife Laura have been married for ten years and are the proud parents of Davy, Samuel, Leah, and Peter. They are members at Redeemer Church in La Mirada, where Laura serves on the worship team and Ben serves as the Finance Director. In his work, he constantly recalls 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

Don Sivesind
Vice President of Advancement

Don is our vice president of advancement and joined National School Project in 2019. He is responsible for bringing partners to NSP who have a passion for students and a desire to support the organization financially. Prior to NSP, Don founded Action Result Services, where he consulted with small business owners, assisting them with growing their businesses by leveraging his sales and marketing experience gained over 25+ years in the corporate space. 

Previous to founding Action Result Services, Don helped multiple companies grow significantly. At Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, a high-end manufacturer of outdoor kitchen equipment, revenues increased 5x during his tenure. During his tenure at The BusBank, a charter bus broker, revenues increased from $4 million to over $29 million, with per-salesperson productivity increasing 220%. Don launched a program with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that raised thousands of dollars for Coaches vs. Cancer. At NTT/Verio, a global ISP, his region’s revenue of $45 million made it the top region in the company. Earlier in his career, Don held marketing and sales management roles at Sprint Corporation, where was a President’s Club Award Recipient and helped launch the college marketing group for the company. Don is the creator of Moving the DOTS, a performance management process the develops the ‘whole employee’ and leads to dramatic improvements in individual and team performance. Don has been a volunteer men’s ministry leader in his church for more than 15 years.

Don studied communications at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. He and his wife, Connie, reside in Grapevine, Texas. They have three grown children.