Friday, October 28, 2011

Reaching into the community

Debra teaching the art of handshakes with the PRSSA at UGA

The women of ELI — Debra Lassiter, Cindy Haygood, and April McLean — are probably best known for their work with children through Perfectly Polished. They are familiar faces at the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. And those who want to become certified children’s etiquette consultants know that ELI sets the gold standard in training.

But did you know that ELI’s outreach goes far beyond that?

Let’s just take a quick look at Debra’s current teaching schedule to get an idea of how busy she stays.

When Debra is not busy teaching elementary, middle and high school students through Perfectly Polished, she is regularly bringing etiquette to the larger community Northeast Georgia community.

In October, she spoke about professional development (resumes, dressing for interviews, meeting and greeting) to the Public Relations Student Society of America at the University of Georgia. She gave a dining tutorial to the Georgia Society of CPAs. She taught job skills through Bread for Life, a local non-profit that brings people out of poverty and into the workforce.

Debra with the Georgia Society of CPAs

In November — after mentoring a new group of consultants during ELI’s training week — Debra will speak about business etiquette for “life after college” at the UGA Terry College of Business Women’s Conference. And she’ll share professional business savvy with educators who are aspiring administrators through Northeast Georgia RESA (Rising Stars).

Of course, while all of this is going on, she is also planning (along with Cindy and April) the annual Holly Ball for Perfectly Polished lead dance members, as well as the Mystery Mistletoe Dinner Dance (a three-course dining tutorial with dances in between) for Perfectly Polished seventh graders.

And that just gets us through the winter. There are plenty more classes and speaking engagements that follow in the spring! For Debra, it’s just part of the job she loves. For ELI, it’s a way to keep spreading our favorite message: etiquette is the key to more kind, fulfilling, and enjoyable lives.

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