Emily Sharpe isn't just a resident of the town of Elon, she's a voice for the town, too. 

As a member of the Elon Board of Aldermen, Sharpe has a say in improving the town she’s grown to love so much. 

“The town has been very focused on the university for so long and now as residents and people are looking to move here. It's kind of more, ‘what can we do for our residence while still having this great partnership with the University?’” Sharpe says.

To improve the town in the most efficient way, Sharpe is working on developing the parks of Elon as well as looking to improve the downtown area. 

While these are goals she and the rest of the Board are working to achieve, Sharpe brings a different perspective to the council; she’s the only woman. 

“I’m only the 7th. So in 125 years, there’s only been 7 women elected to the Board of Aldermen. But my colleagues treat me the same as they would anybody else and I’m certainly proud to be a woman on the Board of Aldermen,”  Sharpe says. 

The decision to get into politics began at an early age for Sharpe, and after joining the parks and recreations board, she realized, her contribution would positively impact a different demographic in the town of Elon. 

“It just became very evident to me that there wasn’t a voice of young professionals, and nothing against the great men I serve with but their priorities are just a little bit different than mine, having a toddler at home and being a female,” Sharpe says. 

Sharpe is the mother to 3 year old daughter Layla Kate. 

“It isn’t easy. It is not easy to balance; it’s not easy for any mom,” Sharpe says, “Motherhood is difficult. It is the greatest thing in the world but to be a spouse, a partner, to be a parent, to be an employee, and then to be someone who serves in the community, it certainly can pull you in different directions.”

Having a daughter inspires Sharpe to work hard and set a good example for her daughter. 

“My goal in parenting a little girl is that she know she can do anything she sets her mind to. I don’t ever want to hold her back. I want her to see the value of giving back to your community.”

Sharpe’s hopes for Layla Kate is that she sees the value and importance of being a part of the community. 

“I want her to grow up and realize there is so much more to life than raising a family and making a paycheck, but to give back to the community is so important as well.”

And for Elon, Sharpe believes the next 20 years are bright ones for the town.