Jennifer Lassiter Smith
CEO, Paxton Trust

Jennifer Lassiter Smith is the CEO of the Paxton Trust.  Her passion to help children with disabilities began when her oldest daughter, Katelyn, was diagnosed with autism at age 2.  Realizing she would need to be Katelyn’s advocate, Jennifer embarked on a journey that has now helped hundreds of families throughout Loudoun County and beyond. 

As the previous Executive Director of The Arc of Loudoun on the Paxton Campus in Leesburg, Virginia, Jennifer is the founder of The Aurora School, that teaches students with special needs, particularly those with autism;  Open Door Learning Center, a preschool and kindergarten that serves children with and without disabilities; Supported Training and Employment Program (STEP Up) that offers job training for adults with disabilities; and “A Life Like Yours” (ALLY) Advocacy Center that provides free guidance, support, events, and workshops to people with disabilities and their families.

Jennifer began leading the Paxton Trust in 2017 and expanded her vision beyond the programs on the Paxton Campus to include all children in need in Loudoun County. The Paxton Trust has now partnered with more than 30 organizations serving children, as well as impacting the community through its own initiatives like “Kids in Business”, “What’s your Word?” and the Paxton Trust Emergency Fund.

Contact Jennifer at


Meredith Lefforge 
Community Outreach Coordinator 

A California native, Meredith received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Southern California.  After a successful 10-year career in public and government relations, she went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in journalism and public affairs and became a news producer in New York at CNBC and Fox News Channel and then at CNN Washington DC bureau.  She then took time off to start a family and relocated to Loudoun County. She felt called to give back to her community and began volunteer work with local nonprofits, which led to her accepting a position with The Arc of Loudoun at Paxton Campus as director of development. After helping build a successful fundraising foundation at the Arc of Loudoun, Meredith left to join the Paxton Trust in 2018.

As Community Outreach Coordinator, Meredith connects businesses to needs of children in the community as well as organizing events to continue Rachel Paxton’s legacy of serving children in need in Loudoun. 

Contact Meredith at