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Teaching 'Good Manners & Etiquette' should be inclusive for everyone

The Swann School of Protocol provides free classes on social skills to underserved communities.

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Good manners can go a long way in this world, but not everyone has access to learning social etiquette. In this Zevely Zone, I met a San Diego success story who feels sharing social skills should be inclusive for all. 

Elaine Swann is a nationally recognized lifestyle and etiquette expert. She is the founder of The Swann School of Protocol, an institution committed to enriching the lives of individuals through the instruction of etiquette and social courtesies. 

"Hundreds and hundreds of appearances I have made on television," said Elaine. People searching for advice on just about any topic, turn to Elaine Swann. "I've always got an opinion," said Elaine.

Credit: The Swann School of Protocol

Elaine is the proud daughter of an immigrant. "My father immigrated here from Panama to find a better life," said Elaine who attended charm school as a child. 

She used that etiquette as a flight attendant to help her first career take off for Continental Airlines. "Yes, I really got my practice dealing with difficult people and challenging situations," laughed Elaine. 

Credit: The Swann School of Protocol

She figured the world could use more manners, so she dreamed of opening The Swann School of Protocol. 

"I needed some seed money for my business, and I did not know how to even get there," said Elaine who went to a San Diego company called Founders First. That's where she found Kim Folsom tackling economic injustice with what she calls an underground railroad of success. 

"I feel like I am the 2020 version of Harriet Tubman," said Kim in an interview in 2020. 

Founders First has access to 100 million dollars in capital to jumpstart underserved business owners. Oprah once gave Kim some advice. "She said you have a superpower use it," said Kim who has helped more than three hundred businesses. 

Kim founded her company with the goal of helping one thousand businesses. Founders First Capital Partners can be found by clicking here.

Credit: The Swann School of Protocol

Founders First helped Elaine scale her business. Licensing has supersized Elaine's dreams from coast to coast. 

"We have over 20 independently owned and operated Swann Schools throughout the United States. We are getting bigger," said Elaine. 

The Swann School of Protocol teaches teens how to sharpen speaking skills and confidently communicate in public. "Don't be afraid to open your mouth and say I need some help doing this," said Elaine who never forgot her charm school training. 

RELATED: Black-owned business leads by putting community first

The Swann Cares Program provides free classes to underserved communities. 

"It makes me feel great, I feel like I am leaving a great mark on the earth, the more I can duplicate myself the better it is," said Elaine. 

She's written books and won many awards, but her greatest advice? Build an empire of hope so everyone can thrive. "I feel as though I am living my dream right now, I am living that American dream," said Elaine.

RELATED: Non-profit high school offers private education to underserved students for $700 a year

Providing free etiquette training to underserved communities is a mandate for every location of The Swann School of Protocol. For more information click here.


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