Executive Director/ Founder
Haywood Charles Merritt “Charlie”
As an advocate, Charlie Merritt is an innovator for veterans with disabilities and individuals living with paralysis.
Upon graduation in 2004 from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business, Charlie extended his enlisted career as a Sergeant with the United States Marine Corps continuing on to earn his commission and complete his service as a Material Readiness Officer and S-4A for the 10th Marine Regiment.
In 2014, 7 years after his discharge, Charlie suffered a spinal cord injury, leaving him a C3 complete quadriplegic without the use of his arms and legs. Not letting this stop his passion for serving Charlie, switched gears from owning his own successful business to integrating himself into several nonprofit board assignments to ensure others in similar situations would not face the hardships and confusion after posttraumatic incidents. Garnering this experience Charlie has founded and is the Executive Director of Stand Up For Me, Inc. An organization designed explicitly to increase independence for individuals with mobility impairments and to reduce their caregivers’ burden.
Charlie’s empathy for the difficult transition that veterans and individuals who suffer traumatic injuries have led him to continue his service with The Mission Continues, Service Leadership Corps. There, he expects to absorb knowledge to bring back to his own community and continue his altruistic mission to make others’ lives simpler and more rewarding.