RFTS is dedicated to building a team that is passionate about our mission and its goals.
Carlos Aragon co-created Reach for The Stars with a vision to empower the low-income community, homeless and the public through the uplifting power of astronomy, space, and simple acts of kindness.
Carlos is a Combat Retired Veteran, a stepfather to 2 boys and lives with his girlfriend and nonprofit partner, Kira in Vail, Arizona. Carlos was a Combat Talon 2 and Combat Shadow C-130 aerospace maintenance Journeyman/Crew Chief in the Air Force allowing him to travel the world and visit 26 different countries during multiple missions. He obtained his Aerospace Maintenance degree and became a strong leader while in the 352 Special Operations Group in England. He became trained in various disciplines preparing him for any traumatic situation and became an instructor, teaching 2,961 airmen. While performing his duties, he suffered a severe injury and was medically and honorably retired in Tucson AZ. He has been the Program Coordinator and BOD at a Veterans Organization and is now the CEO of Reach for The Stars, Inc.
It was not always like that, however. Carlos fell on hard times soon after leaving the military as he could no longer work due to his injuries as a mechanic. After six years of feeling lost, he found himself addicted to his prescribed pain killers and in the darkest moment in his life. This quickly led him to become homeless. Luckily, Carlos found the VA treatment facility for veterans going through crisis, and he chose to turn his life around.
Carlos has worked hard to grasp the positive changes his life had led him to and decided to follow in the footsteps of his partner, Kira by volunteering and giving back. He was reminded of his LDS upbringing feeling as though he was back to a normalcy again. "We have to try and help people going through a crisis. Versus allow them to get to the point where they are sleeping behind Safeway." This drives his love for charity work.
One day, Carlos bought a Walmart telescope and just like that, astronomy became another passion. Carlos and Kira then made the decision to purchase a higher quality telescope and they began sharing their views in the Safeway parking lot. One day they both realized that the beauty of the night sky and its stunning objects took their attention away from any issues they were worrying about, and it all clicked! This was the beginning of the unique idea to combine charity work and astronomy into one entity.
"Exploring the universe to Inspire those in it" - Carlos
Linsay Chauvez and her husband Manuil own Four Arrows Garden in Corona de Tucson. She is a mom of 4 amazing kiddos ranging from toddlers to teens. After 15 years of managing operations for startup organizations in Los Angeles and Tucson, Linsay now manages her own small business full-time. The most recent startup that she helped manage was a non-profit fundraising platform. She has worked with some of the largest non-profit organizations in the U.S. to help them run successful fundraising campaigns in support of their mission. She has also assisted with corporate social responsibility campaigns for Fortune 500 companies and other orgs around the country. She now focuses solely on her family business and is studying to be an AZ certified nursery professional.
Kira Reid co-created Reach For The Stars with the vision and drive to empower the homeless and low income community through the inspiration of space and with kindness and love. Kira is a Decorated Combat Wounded Warrior Retired Veteran, a mother to 2 boys and lives with her boyfriend and organization partner, Carlos in Vail, Arizona. Kira has gone to school for Military Intelligence Studies, Social Work and even has a CDA in Early Childhood. Starting RFTS was a simple decision after combating alcoholism, giving has always been a core value of hers.
“Genuine Kindness is not just what we do, but how we do it and what we allow to shine from within our inner soul... if it is not pure, people will eventually know. Genuine Kindness is actually rare. It takes passion, love, and humility” -Kira Reid
Ayla Linder, is a combat veteran, who served in the Air Force for 7 years. She is currently Director of Marketing & Business Development at CountrySideNet, a full time student at GCU earning her MS in Leadership, and mother of a 6 year old daughter and a 2 year old son. She recently earned her BS in Entrepreneurial Studies at GCU. In her spare time, Ayla serves as a board member and co-director of the Tucson chapter of Islamic Speakers Bureau of AZ, volunteers at her daughter's school and assists her husband in his carpentry business where she is needed. Ayla has been serving on the board since 2021.
Jerry is a professional tax advisor, who manages multiple business's and nonprofits. He has worked for the Jim Click Automotive Team for 8 years. Jerry has degrees in business management, accounting, and humanistic psychology. He brings a vast array of wisdom and experience to RFTS (over 50 years) and we are so grateful for the opportunity to work with him.
Jerry is married and has four adult children. In his spare time he enjoys golfing, reading, writing, and the Tucson weather. He is a sports fan of the University of Arizona Wildcats, particularly basketball. Jerry is co-chair of the Board at the American Red Cross, Board of Directors for PEERS, Advisory Board of Ben’s Bells, and advisor of Reach For The Stars charity.
Racheal Eldridge has over 30 years of accounting experience both in the private and public sectors. She has been a bookkeeper for her parent's business and has A/P experience in the construction and software development industry. Racheal has worked in a hospital setting, community college and for Pima County. She is currently a logistics lead with Raytheon, where she was previously a financial analyst. Racheal has an adult daughter who works at TMC as a nurse. Racheal loves to hike the Arizona trails, help her daughter with her baking business and is currently working towards earning her scuba diving certification. Racheal has a passion for astronomy and the Tucson sky. She has taken astronomy classes which have peaked her interest in the exploration of space. Racheal is also a proud Tucson native who could give you tips about all the local hot spots.