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Marilyn Waddell serves as an advocate and mentor for individuals seeking support in their personal and career development.  She worked with the Upward Bound Program at The University of North Carolina, a high school college preparatory program, for 26 years in the role of Assistant Director and Academic Coordinator.  She served one year as Director in her final year with the program.   She coordinated, planned and executed activities to enhance students’ educational and social growth.  Marilyn Waddell supervised an academic year and summer staff responsible for working with students and implementing services.  Marilyn Waddell is a graduate of North Carolina Central University with a B.A. in Business Education/Administration and has completed graduate work in School Counseling.  She enjoys helping people fulfill their dreams through consultation, support and encouragement.


Charlene Peacock is a graduate of UNC-CH and thinks of herself as a humble, quiet thinker who loves to help people behind the scenes. The things she loves in life are her faith, family and friends. After the sudden and unexpected loss of her son, Christian, she has garnered strength from and now is a major contributor for the Wake County Chapter of Compassionate Friends, an international organization for bereaved parents. Charlene also likes to read, write poetry, volunteer, attend arts functions, and spend time with family and friends.


Carlina Simmons, MSW, Board Member, is an experienced Social Worker who has worked in the education and social work field for the past ten years. A graduate of NC State and UNC-Pembroke, Carlina has a passion for the pursuit of knowledge and empowering her community. She volunteers in the Children’s Ministry at her church and enjoys helping others reach their fullest potential. 



Catrina Simmons, Board Member, has a Bachelor's degree in English and has been a classroom teacher for 34 years. She constantly tells her family that she is retiring soon, but she continues to make it “one more year”. She is the wife of 39 years to Alex, mother to two amazing young ladies (Carlina and Taryn) and the sister to the most wonderful siblings on the planet. Catrina is a member of Covenant Love Church honors her awesome dad who is 90 years young and loves spending time with family, especially during the holidays, and enjoys traveling and shopping!

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