Meet Us Monday: Elaine, Board Chair
For this week’s Meet us Monday, we are very excited to highlight our excellent Board Chair, Elaine Minor. Aside from serving on the board of REAL LIFE, Elaine works for the Richmond Police Department and runs the L.I.F.E. Program, which provides court ordered programming for juveniles.
After receiving her masters in school counseling, Elaine worked in Richmond Public Schools for about a year. Following this, Elaine worked for Full Circle Grief Center, a nonprofit that supports children, adults, and families through trying times. Luckily for us, founder and director of REAL LIFE, Sarah Scarbrough, was doing a trauma-informed workshop at Full Circle while Elaine was working there. This work caught Elaine’s eye, and she reached out to Sarah about possible volunteer opportunities at REAL LIFE.
Through the transition period into her new job, Elaine was able to help out at REAL LIFE and this is how she formed a connection with the foundation. Elaine attended the weekly community meetings and was able to meet clients and staff through these experiences. She saw what amazing work was happening within the foundation and decided to keep in touch with Sarah. It’s no wonder that when REAL LIFE was looking for a Board Chair, choosing Elaine was a no-brainer!
Some of the most meaningful connections that Elaine has helped foster over the years are those between REAL LIFE clients and police officers, as well as connecting clients with children who are struggling with numerous obstacles. Elaine recognizes the need for children to have positive role models who represent them and who understand their situations. By having Lifers speak to children about their experiences and give them advice moving forward was such a positive experience for both the children and the clients. Elaine referred to the Lifers as a “voice of reason” for children in many cases.
Similarly, Elaine helped to create a bond between officers in the Richmond Police Department and REAL LIFE Lifers. She spoke about the importance of officers gaining backstory and perspective into clients’ lives to understand why a person may act a certain way, so that they may continue to act with compassion and empathy moving forward. Elaine mentioned how so many of the officers she is in contact with truly got involved in law enforcement to help – and officers love hearing the stories of the Lifers. In the same way, these connections prompted Lifers to be more trusting and empathetic toward the officers, creating more harmonious relationships among the community.
When Elaine is not taking on one of her many responsibilities, she enjoys walking around and exploring the neighborhoods of Richmond. She also loves traveling, which she looks forward to doing more of post-COVID! Elaine is also a HUGE Dallas Cowboys fan!
Elaine has clearly touched so many lives throughout her work with REAL LIFE and the police department, and we are so proud that she represents REAL LIFE with such ambition. Not only has she touched individual lives, but she has positively transformed the community in many ways as well. The work that Elaine has done is remarkable and we cannot thank her enough for the positive impact she has had on our community.