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She's working to make Hampton Roads a better place to live

Michelle Ellis-Young is a News 3 Everyday Hero
Michelle Ellis-Young
Posted at 6:01 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 18:03:47-05

NORFOLK, Va. — As the CEO of the YWCA South Hampton Roads, Michelle Ellis-Young can succinctly tell you what the organization is all about.

"Our mission simply is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all," Ellis-Young shared.

Achieving that, though, is far from easy.

"It sounds very simple to roll off my tongue. But when we go to implement it, really we're looking at it holistically: What does it take to make sure that our communities are safe? That they're vibrant? That they are operating in harmony?"

When it comes to the eliminating racism part of the mission, Ellis-Young says it's all about starting the conversation - even if it's difficult or uncomfortable.

"When we think about conversations that are really risky, when we think about conversations that are hard and difficult, it all starts with basic courtesy, dignity and respect," she shared.

Because of that effort to make Hampton Roads a better place to live for everyone, News 3 presented Ellis-Young with our Everyday Hero award and a $300 Visa gift card from our partners at Southern Bank.

In true thinking about others fashion, Ellis-Young already has a plan for the money.

"I am very passionate about the team of people who make this mission happen every single day. Without their work, without their sacrifice, without their passion and without them showing up, this work could not be done to make Hampton Roads a better place. I definitely already have some thoughts in mind for a wellness program to honor our team members."

To nominate someone for an Everyday Hero Award, click here.