The Florida Commission on the Status of Women (FCSW) announced Elaine Larsen as a recipient of the 2018 Spirit of the Community Award for someone that has improved the lives of Florida women and families, and who serves as a positive role model for women and girls in their communities.
Elaine Larsen is a professional Jet Car driver based in Palm Bay, Florida. She and her husband Chris operate Larsen Motor Sports, build their entire fleet of race cars from concept design to full fabrication, while training the next generation of high-performance vehicle specialists. Their affiliation with Florida Institute of Technology has opened the door for internships, which led the LMS team to research many different avenues from biofuels to human centered design, lighting that spark for the next generation.
Elaine taught pre-school kids before her racing career took off, and spent years working with children of all ages to promote STEAM (Science -Technology -Engineering -Arts -Math), both on local and regional levels throughout Florida and across the USA. She is an ambassador for STEM and a keynote speaker for WeVenture Women Entrepreneurs, Space Coast Women, Women in Aviation, All About You, and other women’s organizations and events.
The creation of the comic book BLAZE is a vehicle to educate through entertainment with emphasis on STEAM. Each book is themed with a specific lesson targeted at an issue that the team must work together to resolve. Because of the BLAZE program Blazing Trails, a 501 c3 organization, was formed as a charity to help the next generation achieve their dreams. Blazing Trails sponsors and assists children who have goals that they want to achieve, but are unable to, due to lack of money, time, and/or guidance. This is done with education through motorsports, entertainment, and STEAM programs. The next Blazing Trails event takes place January 25, 2019 at Palm Beach International Raceway for 1300 students in 6-12th grades.
Elaine Larsen continues to blaze her own trails as she allows for opportunities to ladies of all ages to promote STEAM(Science, Technology, Arts, and Mathematics). She will be presented with her Spirit of the Community Award on Friday, November 16, 2018 during the Commission’s 4th Quarterly meeting, Noon – 2:00 PM at the Tampa Bay History Center.
“The Florida Commission on the Status of Women is proud to focus on celebrating the contributions and success of women,” said Lady Dhyana Ziegler, DCJ, Ph.D., Commission Chair. “We are delighted to honor these outstanding individuals for their tremendous achievements and dedicated service to their communities.”
The goal of the Florida Commission on the Status of Women is to provide communication, promotion, and collaboration among the hundreds of organizations working in all 67 counties that are focused on the welfare of the women of Florida. The revitalization of the women’s movement to address the status of women, such as discrimination, poverty, pay equity, and other social and economic issues impacting the lives of women have moved to the forefront of conversations across the nation.
The Florida Commission on the Status of Women is a nonpartisan board, statutorily created in 1991, consisting of 22 appointed members. The Commission is administratively housed in the Office of the Attorney General, with a focus on raising awareness and celebrating the contributions and successes of all Floridians, along with providing a collaborative platform for those seeking information on issues that affect women, girls and their families in our state. The Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of Senate, and the Attorney General appoint four members and the Chief Financial Officer and Commissioner of Agriculture each appoint three members for a term of four years.