James serves as Treasurer of Families Forward Charlotte. Originally from Dallas, Texas, he grew up in an area where upward mobility was possible, and he is a product of this dynamic. He moved to Charlotte in 2003 to begin his career and has fallen in love with the city that he now calls home. However, he has strong convictions that our city must improve the low levels of mobility it is currently experiencing through stronger levels of social capital. He believes Family Forward Charlotte is a step in the right direction to create greater stability for families and children in our community.
James resides in Charlotte with his wife, Katie who was born and raised here, and son, Ben. He currently works as an investment banker for Deloitte Corporate Finance. James holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and finance from the University of Texas at Dallas and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
Allie grew up in Gastonia, NC and has lived in Charlotte since 2007. She attended Appalachian State University with a degree in Interior Design but later went back to school to earn her Masters of Arts in teaching from UNCC.
Previously, Allie has volunteered her time with a local elementary school as a tutor for two small kids, and at Levine Children’s Hospital. After working in the school system and interacting with different schools, her eyes were opened to the many needs of children.
Allie has always had a passion for children and helping others and, as a mother of two, she wants to share her passion and lead by example. I’m proud to be on the board of Families Forward Charlotte and I look forward to changing lives of those in our community.
Jennifer grew up in Gastonia, NC and moved to Charlotte after graduating from Appalachian State University in 2004 with a degree in Advertising/Communications. She and her husband, Ian, moved to San Francisco in 2010 where she worked as an Account Executive for Clinique. Ian’s career with Wells Fargo brought the couple back to Charlotte in 2013.
Each Christmas Jennifer and Ian adopt several impoverished, disadvantaged families from the high school they graduated from in Gastonia. Early December they host a large Christmas party and request guests bring gift cards or gifts for the adopted families. This Christmas party has become a tradition and continues to grow each year.
Jennifer continues to be an advocate for those in need. The reward of seeing little faces light up and gratitude from concerned parents motivates her to continue to help those in need.
Thank you for joining our email list.
Ashley serves as an At Large Board Member of Families Forward Charlotte. Ashley grew up in Gastonia, NC and has lived in Charlotte since 2005. She resides in the Myers Park area of Charlotte with her husband, Jennings, and young daughter, Randall. Ashley graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and has a certificate in Event Planning from Central Piedmont Community College. This has enabled her to run her event planning business, Events Without A Hitch. Growing up as a minister’s daughter, Ashley learned at a very young age the importance of giving to those in need. For that reason, Ashley has remained active in the Charlotte community for over 10 years, by volunteering and serving in leadership roles with the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, Young Affiliates of the Mint, Junior League of Charlotte, Art with Heart, and as Social Committee Chair for Charlotte House community. “I look forward to making a difference in the lives of families in need with Families Forward Charlotte”.
Angelica serves as Secretary of Families Forward Charlotte. Although she grew up in Altamonte Springs, Florida, she has lived in the Charlotte area since 2008 and resides in Davidson, North Carolina with her husband, Brian, and young daughter, Bryce. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in K-6 Elementary Education. Shortly after graduation, she moved to Charlotte to begin her teaching career. In her eight years of teaching, she has taught grades 1-8 in both public and independent school settings and has also served as a STEM & Special Programs Coordinator and Summer Camp Director at a local independent school. In 2017, Angelica transitioned out of the classroom and into the field of educational technology with a strong focus on social and emotional learning.
As a young girl, Angelica’s family faced financial adversity while her parents began to establish roots in the United States after migrating from the Philippines. Eventually, her parents built successful careers, which helped push the family out of poverty. Having taught students whose families struggled to meet basic needs, Angelica identified the need for programs that help parents gain educational opportunities and career guidance to help gain the skills needed to acquire jobs that met their families’ needs. After conducting research in social and emotional learning, Angelica strongly believes that students’ success and happiness is rooted in stable, supportive households with strong role models. In 2017, Angelica joined Carrie Christian and the Families Forward Charlotte team to help serve families in the Charlotte community.
Dena is the VP of Families Forward and manages all social media efforts. Born and raised in Charlotte, NC she has seen the effect of poverty in the city and has a deep passion to help those families and children affected by such a harsh reality. Often people that have multiple problem areas feel overwhelmed and find it easier to give up rather than work to fix the issues. It is too often that individuals begin feeling hopeless and stuck in a downward spiral. She truly believes that progress starts with one person, one family. If that one family can receive help and education, poverty could be a thing of the past. Dena has been in early childhood education since 2001 with a short break to stay at home with her children, now ages 14, 12 and 9. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga and master’s degree from George Washington University in Washington, DC.
Katie serves as an At Large Board Member of Families Forward Charlotte. Katie grew up in Columbia, South Carolina but has lived in Charlotte for 11 years. She studied Marketing & Communications at the University of South Carolina and now works for Carolinas HealthCare System.
When Katie had her second child in 2016, it hit her that so many children were lacking basic needs – she felt a weight of responsibility to do something to help the helpless in her community. She jumped at the chance to get involved with Carrie’s vision of a non-profit for children and their families who fell through the cracks. Katie wants to help Families Forward Charlotte make a lifelong difference in the lives of the innocent who will shape our city in the future.
Carrie is the Founder and Director of Families Forward Charlotte. Carrie has lived in Mecklenburg County since she was 1 years old and is now raising her family in Charlotte with her husband Tom. She graduated from West Charlotte High and earned her Masters of Arts in teaching from Winthrop University. She loves coaching high school volleyball and watching her kids enjoy sports as they grow.
Carrie was devastated to learn about the Harvard study on Equality of Opportunity that found Mecklenburg County ranked 50 of 50 in upward mobility. Meanwhile, her family had been supporting poverty stricken families each Christmas through the help of local teachers. These families struggled to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. When dropping off Christmas gifts and household items in December 2016, the idea to start a non profit was born. Carrie wanted to provide year round support to ease the burden of poverty on local children and families, and in researching her goal she learned just how difficult it is to find local resources for families and her mission grew. Carrie quickly gained support within the community and with a dedicated board of directors, Families Forward Charlotte was born.
Carrie is thankful for the opportunity to serve the community she grew up in and adores.