Cheryl Groce-Wright

Executive Director

paf-groce-wright-headshotCheryl joined the NRC family on September, 2012 bringing thirty years of experience in program management. She has held positions in youth programming and development, fund-raising, academic and social science research, substance abuse and family counseling, and college student development. She earned her undergraduate degree in communications from the State University of NY at Oswego, her masters degree of education in Psychological Services from the University of Pennsylvania, and her master€™s degree of business administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is excited to bring her years of work and experience in educational and non-profit settings to the NRC.

Outside of work she is devoted to her family as a wife and mother of two sons. She enjoys outdoor activities including running, camping, and hiking. She also enjoys movies, especially musicals and dramas. She is looking forward to meeting all of her new NRC neighbors and hopes you will come by for a visit sometime soon. Contact Cheryl.

 Salome Fernando

Montessori Preschool Program Director & Lead Teacher

IMG_20150811_124553909Salome Fernando is the program director and lead teacher of the NRC Montessori Preschool. Salome is certified by the Association Montessori Internationale (AMI) to teach 3-6 year old children. She received her training from the Good Shepherd Maria Montessori Training Center in Sri Lanka. She also has Early Childhood Education teaching units from the University of California Los Angeles.

She moved to Virginia in January 2007 and started working at the NRC soon after. Before her move to Virginia, Salome worked as the lead teacher at Little Wonders Montessori in Los Angeles for five years, and as lead teacher at the Meher Montessori in Pasadena California for one year. She is very dedicated to continuing the excellent work that we have envisioned for the NRC Montessori Preschool. Contact Salome.

 Ashley Patrick

NRC Works Program Director & Financial Coach


ashley-p-staff-photoAshley joined the NRC family on June 2014 as the NRC Works Financial Coach and by January 1, 2015 assumed the role as Program Director.  Ashley spent 5 years in retail banking prior to her transition to the non-profit sector.  During her tenure at Wells Fargo Bank she gained valuable experience in the area of financial education and literacy.  She was afforded the opportunity to assume many roles including teller, personal banker, service manager and Store Manager.  Ashley attributes her time spent at Wells Fargo as a launching pad that ignited a passion in her to teach people how to live a life of financial freedom.

Ashley is married to Alexander “Jay” Patrick who is the CEO and Executive Director of Liberation Family Services (formerly Freedom House), a transitional shelter that provides food, clothing, shelter and case management to homeless military veterans   Outside of work Ashley enjoys traveling and spending time with her family. Ashley also finds great joy in assisting her husband with Pastoring their church, Liberation Church International, located on National Street in the Greater Fulton Community.  Contact Ashley. 

 Brandon Walton

Food Program Director

brandon-staff-photoBrandon is a native Richmonder who has enjoyed a wide in-the-field education in culinary arts. He served 350 people daily while traveling with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and has toured with the Eagles and American Idol. Brandon has since joined our team to use his culinary skills to feed our Montessori Preschool and Out-of-School Time children. Aside from managing day to day food Operations, Brandon is also co-manages our 1600 square foot urban farmlet.

Brandon enjoys Kayaking the James River, cycling and spending time with his wife and two sons. Contact Brandon.