May Hometown Mentor: Salem teacher goes above and beyond

Charnika Elliott teaches students via Zoom
Charnika Elliott teaches students via Zoom(WDBJ)
Published: May. 11, 2020 at 6:34 AM EDT
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During difficult times, teachers in our hometowns continue to go above and beyond for their students. But a teacher in Salem isn't just impacting the lives of kids -- she's helping adults too.

Charnika Elliott was selected to be the WDBJ7 Hometown Mentor for May. Elliott founded Noah-Christian Academy in Salem, naming it after her two deceased babies, Noah and Christian.

Elliott said out of pain and tragedy came a new purpose. The once inner-city school teacher decided to venture out and start her own school.

"I really saw a need to help children, especially lower income families, social-economically challenged youth. It really became a passion of mine to offer them educational resources that I saw they were lacking," she said.

Since opening the academy in 2011, Elliott has educated 68 children. One of her current students is her son Joshua.

"It's nice having my mom as a teacher because I can see her every day,” he said.

When she's not at school, Elliott leads a support group called H.E.A.L. for other parents who have experienced loss.

Elliott was nominated for Hometown Mentor. That nomination read in part, “In the last 14 years, she has dedicated herself to ministry in many capacities. Charnika has a heart of gold and a true love for helping others.”

If you know a teacher, coach or mentor going above and beyond for children in our area,

to nominate them!

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