Define the word QUEEN using 3 words. Matriarch, Ruler, Boss.
What do you love most about yourself? I love that I am a creative and futuristic visionary. My mind has the ability to create ideas that are years before its time. I have visions of the direct flow of certain things and then when it’s time to manifest the dream, it’s the most beautiful thing ever.
What motivates you to do your very best? There are people who live their lives for many years without knowing their purpose, some people die never being able to define it. This is my motivation to do my very best. I think to myself, “How dare I not give it my all, when there are so many people searching for something to give their all to?” (I’m going to use this quote later, lol)
What do you believe is your purpose in life? My purpose is to create atmospheres of healing, maturation, and unity for women. I seek to help when defy odds. This is done through a myriad of services and programming some that I have not even tapped into yet. I feel it in my heart and soul daily, and I will spend the rest of my days cultivating it.
Tell us about a time you failed. How did you overcome it? Wow, there are so many examples I could use. World Wide Women Group holds an annual event called Return to Royalty. It’s a two day event, and I spent more time securing the first day event then the second. Well the day came for the second event and it rained horribly, of course the event was outside. My volunteers were not as pleasant as they could be to the guests and vendors, the vendors got wet, and the attendance was poor. There was a moment when I planned my route for escape because all of the door prizes that were to be given out, I left at home. I found my mom and told her I had to go home and get the gifts, she said no I will go. I think she could see my anxiety and she knew that if I left I would never come back. One of my great friends came over to me towards the end and said the event was great. I looked at her as if she had lost her mind. She made a promise to me that if I didn’t quit she wouldn’t either. So as the event was preparing to close out I took the stage and said. “Did you have a good time, will you be back next year?” I don’t even remember saying it but I overcame the failure in that moment, because regardless of how it didn’t measure up in my eyes, someone’s life was impacted and I refused to not try again.
How do you practice self-care? Self-care. I practice this in a few ways, I have a monthly “Taco, tears, and tequila” night with my friends. Every time I achieve a goal I by myself something I’ve been eyeing for a well. And I have mandatory brunch date once a week where I turn off my phone and enjoy the company of my husband or a friend.
What does success look like for you? I am extremely hard on myself so it’s even harder for me to measure success. I would say success is being able to see the women I work with use our time spent together to better themselves. My Dream Team Academy daughters are the purest example of this. They have flourished in life so much and they continue to do so, it makes my heart so full- that’s success.
If you could give your younger self a word of advice, what would it be? Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing great!
Eltonette “Elle” Harris is a native of Portsmouth, Virginia; she graduated from Deep Creek High School in 2002, and went on to Virginia State University to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. She moved back to the Virginia Beach area in 2008, and noticed there were not many jobs for Journalism majors. This caused her to make a serious life decision, continue to work in industries where she was left unfulfilled, or try to figure out her life’s purpose. She enrolled in Norfolk State University to pursue her Masters in Urban Education, and this degree changed her life. While pursuing her Masters, she was able to build an organization which was called World Wide Woman at that time, but today is known as World Wide Women Group Incorporated a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Elle graduated in December of 2010 with her first Master’s degree, and by this time through her work with the community at large: she was a mentor with the Up Center, a Chairwomen over Youth and Recreation for the Lee Ward Civic League in Portsmouth, and a Program Director of Just Dyvine Dance Crew through a non-profit organization called Youth Matter. Her continuous work earned her a Gold Level Presidential Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama, in 2011. In 2013, Elle received her second Master’s degree, a MS in College Leadership and Administration. Elle is currently enrolled in school as a 4th year doctoral candidate. Elle continues to create unique initiatives that respond to the need of the community and the world abroad. They are each designed to mentor, inspire, educate, and liberate women of countless lifestyles.
Location: Suffolk, Va