Hometown: Waxhaw, NC
Job Title: Co-Founder
Focus Areas: Leads LatinxEd, focuses on program development and implementation; communications
Community Leadership: Alumni Council Member, Harvard Graduate School of Education; Member, Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc.
Elaine Townsend Utin - a proud Peruvian-American - is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of LatinxEd. Through her roles, Elaine focuses on leadership and identity development to help Latinx youth be creatively, civically, and collegiately ready to lead our future in North Carolina. Her mission in advocating for Latinx students, especially those facing various financial and geographic limitations, originates from her own experiences growing up in rural NC as a 1.75-generation immigrant from a low-income family. Prior to LatinxEd, Elaine earned her B.A. in Middle Grades Education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a first-generation college student and a Gates Millennium Scholar. She then worked in South Korea as an elementary teacher via a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Award. She received her Master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she studied Technology, Innovation, and Education and was awarded the 2016 HGSE Intellectual Contribution/ Faculty Tribute Award. In 2018, Elaine was additionally recognized on Forbes’s 30 Under 30: Education list. Some fun facts about Elaine are that she comes from a long matriarchal line of llama herders. Her favorite food has been ceviche since she was 5 years old. And she is the new mom of a very cute baby named Ezra.