Evolving to Independence. A need she started to research in her sophomore year of college. 

Callie Buckner attended Western Carolina University to obtain her Bachelors in Social work. Through many of her social work courses she was gaining insight on underserved populations. All while taking classes she worked at a group home in Bryson City. This group home had a huge impact on her as she connected with many teenagers who needed support. She dedicated a lot of time into pouring into these teens while focusing her studies in the aging out of foster care population. While doing the research she learned there is a huge lack of services for this population to transition into becoming successful adults later in life. She learned most of them ended up homeless, incarcerated, involved in gangs, or sex trafficking. She knew there had to be something done to change these outcomes. Connecting with the teenagers at the group home and seeing these outcomes kickstarted her into believing there could be change for this population. With that determination she decided apply for graduate school to make this change possible.  

Attending North Carolina State University was the best place for to learn how to start a nonprofit and reach the need of this population. North Carolina State offers a certification for nonprofit management. Through taking her social work courses she was able to balance out how to obtain the certification within the two years. After graduating she started the process of developing a nonprofit. It is surreal that all this work is coming together but more importantly she cannot wait to see it grow. She cannot wait to impact at least one persons life and help them achieve their goals. At Evolving to Independence, our mission is to promote wellness, self-advocacy and opportunities to become independent for underserved young adults in the Charlotte area; in efforts to decrease the percentage of young adults ending up homeless or involved with the criminal justice system by teaching life skills through peer and community interactions.