Before coming to Able to Serve, Trista worked as an Administrative Assistant for a local church. She is an active church member at Aversboro Road Baptist Church where she coordinates the Senior Adult Ministry and volunteers with the women’s ministry. Trista dedicates her time to being a wife to her husband Kurt and mother to her three children – Scott, Brandon, and Ryanna. Trista has an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Medical Office Administration.
Sophia joined the ATS Staff Team in 2019. Before coming to Able to Serve Sophia worked in management for the Department of Corrections and in childcare development. She also dedicated time to being a stay-at-home mother and wife to her three children – Cody, Bradley, Grace, and her husband Donnie Ray. When Sophia and her family discovered that Grace has a rare brain disorder, her interest in the medical field and her passion for working with people with special needs piqued. She went back to school and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Liberty University with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Medical Office Assistance. After graduation, her job search led her to Able to Serve. Sophia says, “I have found my ‘why’. It has been, and is, to serve Christ with my whole heart, and in so doing, serving Him the in the exceptional abilities community. I thank God for my faith, my family, and the many doors He has opened that brought me to this point.”
Amber believes everyone is called to serve God and serve others. For nearly 10 years, she has served in the local church with children, youth and outreach. She also worked as the Graduate Assistant for Church Relations at Campbell University’s Divinity School for four years before joining the Able to Serve team. Amber has a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and a Master of Divinity from Campbell University.
Nick Graduated from the University of North Carolina Greensboro in 2016 with a Bachelors in Sociology with a concentration in Criminal Justice and a minor in Political Science. Nick also worked for a company called A Small Miracle, where he received special needs training and worked with clients one-on-one for over a year before joining Able to Serve.
There’s no other way to say it—Anne loves children. She loves the service of teaching and watching her students learn. Anne holds a degree in Early Childhood Education. She has forty-one years of teaching experience, both in the private church setting as well as over 31 years in the Wake County Public School System. Anne and her husband, Alan, belong to St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh where Anne has taught Sunday School, VBS, co-chaired the Children’s Ministry and is a Wake Interfaith Volunteer. When Anne retired in 2016, Brenda Hammond invited Anne to visit Able to Serve where she continues to teach and serve.
A passion for children and a deep-rooted belief that every child can learn, led Brenda to a career in education. She began teaching students with special needs and then moved into the regular classroom where she could have a continuous impact on a larger population.
Throughout the years she has taught Backyard Bible School, Sunday School, Training Union, supervised high school students in various mission activities, and taught literacy classes to beginning teachers in Wake County. After a 37 ½ year career in education, Brenda retired in January 2016.
It didn’t take long for her to realize she missed teaching and the joy that comes with helping others, which is when Brenda teamed up with us here at Able to Serve. She began as a part-time program coordinator and has been excited to see how the program continues to change and move forward while meeting the needs of the participants she serves in meaningful ways.
Brenda has both a Bachelor of Education and Master of Education degree from Georgia Southern University.
“People with cognitive/physical disabilities are able to serve.”
The above quote is a closely held belief that Carlton had long before it became the name of the organization he would found in 2003. For the first four (4) years, he held the titles of Van Driver, Volunteer, and Chairman of the Board. In 2009, he stepped down from the board to accept the vacant part-time position of Executive Director, and a year later, moved to full-time, while managing a staff of three (3) program coordinators to facilitate the daily operations of the growing organization.
Carlton is a graduate of Campbell University and has a Masters of Divinity in Christian Education from Southeastern Theological Seminary.