Thank You For Being Such A Vital Part Of Our Team, Elaine. We Look Forward To Sharing More About You So Others Can Get To Know You Better!
Tell us a bit about your backstory and what lead you down your current life path.
I have been homeschooling for the past 20 years. Even after this length of time, I still get excited when my children understand a difficult concept. Seeing the benefits of working one-on-one with a student led me to want to help other families. Children sometimes just need a little extra help or a different perspective. It’s such a joy when a student understands something and gets that little boost of confidence!
What or who inspired you to pursue your career?
My parents came to the United States as immigrants. They wanted a better life for my brother and me. I saw them both get an education and further their careers. My mother was even able to get a Master’s degree. My father always encouraged my brother and me to figure things out: if we didn’t know how to do something, he would read about it, ask an expert, and then try it. This is why reading is such an important part of education. Reading opens up a whole new world that allows a person to learn about new things or delve deeper into things already known.
What is one thing you are most proud of achieving in your life?
Most of the things that I have “accomplished” in life, I consider being gifts and blessings. One thing, though, that I was proud of was my career before having my family. I had gone to college as a nursing major, mostly because my mother was a nurse and it seemed to be a good career. After a year of college and experience in a doctor’s office and nursing home, I knew it wasn’t for me. I pursued a degree in Psychology with the thought that I would go to grad school. I also took as many business classes as I could get into. After graduation, I took a job as an account rep for a mutual fund company. I then took a job as a sales assistant at a major brokerage firm, passed the Series 7 test, and worked my way up to being a broker. It was a great career for 8 years before I decided to stay home with my children. That decision was the next thing I am most proud of.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My father always encouraged me to try things even if I had no idea how to do something. When I bought my first car, we looked at all the cars I could afford and we settled on a red Dodge Colt. It was cheaper to get a manual drive, so that was what we bought even though neither of us knew how to drive a stick shift. It didn’t seem out of the ordinary for me that my father asked the car dealer to drive the car home for us. He knew he would figure it out. When we got home, we took the car to an empty parking lot and an hour later I was driving (stick shift) home in my new Dodge Colt. My father taught me that it was ok not to know something, but it shouldn’t keep you from learning how to do that thing.
What do you enjoy most about teaching/tutoring?
I enjoy being able to talk to students about their interests. Kids are genuinely funny and interesting. They have such an innocent view of life. I also relish the times when a student knows they have accomplished something without me saying anything. I love that “Aha” moment!
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love gardening so spring is a great time of the year for me. I love to walk in the garden and look for the little shoots of new plants and flowers. I love playing around with different plants of varying heights, colors, and textures. It’s great to see different flowers blooming at different times so there is a constant shower of color. It’s fun to watch the climbing plants grab onto whatever it can and for me to “train” it to go a certain direction. Planting, digging in the dirt, watching for new growth, and just sitting among the greenery and color brings me so much peace.
Tell about an amazing trip you took. Where did you go and what did you enjoy most?
My husband and I went to Greece for our honeymoon. Not only was it beautiful, but the art and history was incredible. From going to the museums, visiting the ancient ruins to just walking in Athens, we found the art and architecture to be amazing. We also traveled to Santorini and visited an excavation site. which was supposedly the uncovered ruins of Atlantis.
The road to success is difficult and requires tremendous dedication. What advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?
I think that most people have an inflated view of what success is. Especially in this culture where success is measured by material means, it’s very important to reinforce that success does not just mean going to a “privileged” school or having a high-paying job. Young people should think about what makes them happy. It would be a “success” to be able to have a career that utilizes talents and passions. Being able to do what you love and share it with other people is success.
Please share your favorite Life Lesson quote. How is it relevant to your life?
I think having hope always is a life lesson that is extremely important. Life will bring us down in many ways. This past year has been an eye-opening experience in that there were so many cancellations, disappointments, and life-altering protocols. We can’t let these things bring us down because that would only lead to anxiety, bitterness, and depression. This past year, we spent a lot of precious family time together. We found new hobbies: my son became a fisherman and golfer this past year, I read more books and watched history videos (which I usually don’t do in my free time). I redid my bucket list with the hope that I will get to all of them!
Is there a person in the world with whom you would love to have a private lunch and why? He/she might just see this! 🙂
I would love to have lunch with Mother Teresa. She was apparently such a peaceful and joyous woman. I would ask her when she felt the calling to serve so many sick and dying people. How did she manage to stay joyful with the day-to-day poverty, illness, and death? She lived a very simple, selfless life – but yet was honored by dignitaries around the world. She has inspired me to see that all life is worthwhile – including the unborn, those born “not so perfect,” the sick and dying, the poor, and the “untouchables.”