Committee Members

Kristen Merick

Advisory Board Chairwoman

kmerick@reachingoutnow.org

Kristen Merick is from the Roanoke area and moved to Stephens City to pursue a career as a School Counselor in Front Royal. She originally went to school intending to become a veterinarian but realized she enjoyed working with children and adolescents to overcome the struggles they were facing. She has been a School Counselor in Warren County for 6 years. Kristen holds a B.S. in Human Development from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in School Counseling from Radford University.

During her time as a School Counselor Kristen has held different counseling groups to help empower students. Kristen is excited to carry her passion into RON to help even more children and adolescents succeed in all areas of life.

Kristen and her husband, Max, have two children Baxter and Eliza. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, being outside, and traveling.

Toby Hire

Community Outreach Committee Member

tobyhire@reachingoutnow.org

You could say raising kids up has always been a passion of Toby’s.  About a decade ago, she actually tried buying a bus to haul kids around.  With 4 kids of her own, nieces and nephews and each of them usually adding a friend or two, she has been mistaken more than once as leading a school field trip!  Though a bit cliche, our children are our future.  Every single child deserves to know they are loved and capable (dare say expected) to do great things in their lives.  Reaching Out Now is allowing exceptional opportunities to build relationships with our students and community to help them push through to greatness.  Loyalty and service are foundational between her family’s military background and successful entrepreneurial spirit and experiences.  Together we can cross the bridge to being our best selves!

Morgan Briggs

Community Outreach Committee Member
Mentor Liaison (student support)

mbriggs@reachingoutnow.org

Morgan Briggs is a graduate of the Clarion University of Pennsylvania with a bachelors degree in Geology. With her degree, she has pursued a career as a science teacher at Skyline Middle School and found a true passion for educating and guiding students in the right direction.

Morgan has taught seventh and eighth grade Science at Skyline Middle School for three years. She is also involved with the schools Positive Behavior Intervention Supports team that helps the school establish a positive learning environment. Her background is in Geology, but she found her life purpose in teaching and mentoring students. 

Prior to teaching, she worked in the environmental consulting industry, surveying properties for real estate transactions. She is passionate about women supporting women and found Reaching Out Now to be an organization that suits her desire to help young girls be the best they can be. In her personal time, she is a wife, animal lover, and seamstress.

Ashley Carter

Community Outreach Committee Member
Mentor Liaison (lead support specialist)

acarter@reachingoutnow.org

Ashley Carter is a Front Royal native, currently living in Winchester, VA. She attended Ferrum College and received a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies. Ashley has also received a Master’s of Science in Secondary Education from Shenandoah University. Beginning her teaching career in her hometown of Front Royal, Ashley allows history to come alive in her classroom for every student. Each day is a new possibility and a new student to inspire.

Sarah Downs

Community Outreach Committee Member
Mentor Liaison (recruiter)

sdowns@reachingoutnow.org

Sarah Downs is a graduate of Skyline High School in Front Royal Virginia. After graduating high school, she went on to continue her education at Lord Fairfax Community College in which she completed a General Studies Associate’s degree with a specialization in human services. Sarah is now studying at Shenandoah University to complete a bachelor’s degree in public health and political sciences. In Sarah’s free time, she competes in speech and debate competitions and gets involved with student life service opportunities. She aspires to help the future of America’s women and hopes to also educate women on several public health issues.