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Talley sisters find success working at Elk Hill in Goochland

Updated: May 14

April 23, 2024 – article from The Central Virginian


Louisa’s own Lindsey and Christy Talley both work at Elk Hill, a specialized education and residential treatment program for youth, located in Goochland County.

Born and raised in Louisa, the twins graduated from LCHS in 2015. Lindsey went on to play softball for four years at Bridgewater College earning her bachelor’s degree in business administration. Christy, who was a cheerleader in high school, took her own path and went to PVCC and then James Madison University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

As Recruiting and Compliance Coordinator, Lindsey is the face of Elk Hill at job fairs and other hiring events. She looks for employees who are flexible and creative problem-solvers, with genuine enthusiasm for the work they do. Recently she earned her SHRM-CP certification. This sought-after HR credential required six months of study in order to pass a demanding 4-hour exam. “It’s very hard to pass the first time,” Talley says. Elk Hill gave her the time she needed to attend study groups and practice. Preparing for the test pretty much took over her life — but she passed on her first try. The certification will help Talley grow in her role at Elk Hill, she says, as she gains the confidence and experience to handle even the most challenging HR concerns.

Lindsey has been at Elk Hill for five years, and a few years ago she recruited her sister, Christy, to join the Elk Hill team. Christy started as an administrative assistant at the Harambee School, and this year transitioned to being a behavioral aide helping middle and high school kids manage their emotions within the school setting. “I like working directly with the students,” said Christy. She shares that one of her best moments this year was establishing trust with Harambee students, so much in fact, she was able to help a child cool down by taking a walk outside on Elk Hill’s beautiful 320-acres. “He was upset with another student, and just needed a few minutes to process everything. I gave him the space and time he needed, and in a few minutes, he apologized for causing the disruption.” It’s moments like these that clearly demonstrate the impact that staff have on the kids at Elk Hill. Christy will begin her social work master’s program in the fall and will continue to work for Elk Hill.

Although the Talley twins don’t work in the same Elk Hill program, their paths sometimes cross in the dining hall at lunch where all the students and staff enjoy their midday meal. “I feel really fortunate that we are both here – in very different capacities – we are bringing our personal skills to an organization that makes a huge impact on children’s lives,” Lindsey said. Christy added “I realize now how very fortunate we were to have grown up in such a loving family and close community. A lot of kids don’t get that experience. It makes me even more grateful for our background.”

The Talley twins are favorites of students and staff alike. They are recognized for going above and beyond their roles to help wherever they are needed and have positive attitudes every day. “Elk Hill is fortunate to have the Talleys on our team,” Ron Spears, CEO said. “Christy and Lindsey are great role models for our kids – and they embody everything positive about Elk Hill.”

Children are referred to Elk Hill for many reasons: because they’ve experienced trauma or abuse in their family of origin, because their behavioral challenges require individual attention, or because they need specialized education not found in traditional settings. Elk Hill, headquartered in Goochland, serves more than 800 children each year across Central Virginia. Through residential therapeutic group homes, specialized schools, school-based mental health programs, camps, and other programs, Elk Hill enables children and families to transform overwhelming challenges into successful futures.

Elk Hill offers specialized education, community-based services and residential treatment programs. We have grown into a regional organization serving 900 youth across Central Virginia each year. We have developed programs to include mental and behavioral health interventions for the kids we serve, specialized literacy programs, workforce development education, as well as providing mental health support and counseling services in the community.

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