Our board members and committee members are a passionate and dedicated group of individuals who are committed to helping underserved young adults in the Charlotte area. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our organization, and we're grateful for their support.

Board Members

Our board members are dedicated individuals who provide leadership and guidance to our organization.

Tyler To

Tyler To joined the board of Evolving to Independence to assist the underprivileged young adult community. He wants to use this opportunity to bridge the gap for these young adults from their youth to adulthood, ensuring they reach their full potential. 

Kim Leaston

Kim Leaston is passionate about supporting and serving underprivileged communities and populations. She joined the board of Evolving to Independence as a way to focus that passion into helping the next generation of college grads, parents, teachers, lawyers, doctors and more gain the tools and knowledge they need to be successful and thriving adults.

Mike Terry

Mike Terry has had the honor and privilege to gain his Bachelors and Masters in social work while also obtaining his Masters in school administration. He has served in the school system for three years. His life’s work has been centered around being a bridge for the community and someone that is not afraid to speak on the injustices in the community. In order to close the gap you must teach individuals the importance of evolving to their true authentic self to acquire the independence they desire and deserve. Through this work he plans on being a reliable community member that inspires people to love and celebrate their journey to independence.

Callie Buckner

Callie Buckner founded Evolving to Idependence to help bridge the gap for underserved young adults. She recognized there was a gap in services while working at a group home her Sophomore year of Undergrad at Western Carolina University. She dedicated a lot of research and time into connect with individuals about to age out of foster care during this time. She furthered her education at North Carolina State University to get her Masters in Social Work as well as a Certification in Nonprofit Management. She loves working with teenagers and younger adults to help them recognize their potential and now help them reach those dreams. She is dedicating to make sure these participants of Evolving to Independence are getting the support and encouragement they need to reach goals they set for themselves.

Committee Members

Our committee members are a passionate and diverse group of individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to help us carry out our mission.

Tess McLendon

Tess McLendon, our social media intern, is a high school sophomore who enjoys volunteering to help her community. During summers, she works at a day camp, caring for area children. Tess is passionate about posting and utilizing social media to connect with friends and classmates. She is excited to help local youth achieve their future goals and spread the word about Evolving to Independence!

Sydney Barnes

Sydney Barnes is an event planner and sales manager for a restaurant with 10+ years in hospitality. She has a masters degree in social work and have a lifelong passion for helping those in need. Her first job in social work was in foster care case management and the field stole my heart. She will be the event planner for Evolving to Independence and am excited to spread the word about this work. She has been good friends with Callie, the founder, for almost 18 years.

Erica Backus

Erica is a 25 year old resident of Huntersville, NC who loves animals and being active. She cares deeply about social issues, and encourages open conversations and voting. She is Evolving to Independence’s Intake Reporter and Spreadsheet Editor, and she aims to help people who live in her community to afford opportunities to gain independence.