Personality: Christa Lynne Coleman

Spotlight on board member of Peter Paul Development Center

10/4/2019, 6 a.m. | Updated on 10/4/2019, 12:24 p.m.
It is unbelievable for Christa Lynne Coleman, daughter of the founder of Peter Paul Development Center, to celebrate the organization’s ...

After John Coleman’s death in 1986, the center continued to be supported primarily by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and many generous individuals as the organization expanded and strengthened with a focus on fostering and measuring academic achievement.

Becoming reflective and emotional, Ms. Coleman asks a poignant question as she remembers her father’s life and legacy: “What can you do in a lifetime and what will be your imprint?”

“If my father were here right now, I would tell him thanks from the bottom of my heart for your gift to me, to people you don’t even know and to people who are not born yet,” she says through a teary swell of emotion. “Your life was short but incredibly powerful.”

Meet this week’s Personality, whose father’s legacy lives on through her,

Christa Lynne Coleman:

Date and place of birth: Sept. 16 in Richmond.

Current residence: Glen Allen.

Alma mater: Bachelor’s of science, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1979.

Relationship to Peter Paul Development Center: Daughter of founder John Coleman and board member since 2016.

Why the center is important to the East End community: This center has been a place of support, resources, refuge and hope for 40 years.

Leadership of the center: It enjoys the service of impas- sioned board members, with most members filling their maximum term of six years; community members are em- ployed at Peter Paul and serve on the board, as well.

What changes and progress have occurred since center’s founding: Peter Paul continues to respond to the community and has grown its impact in the level and depth of programming. In 2007, the main building was built, which allowed us to serve three times the number of students. In 2012, Peter Paul opened its first Promise Center at Fairfield Elementary.

Challenges facing the center and community it serves: The lack of safety for our children and the overall impact of community trauma.

The center’s greatest reward: All the successes of the children and their families, including academic confidence and success, high school graduations, stable housing, full-time jobs, first cars, etc.

Role of the center in eliminating social ills: Peter Paul takes an asset-based approach to its work and focuses on empowering its families with the skills needed to thrive.

What makes a good leader: The ability to inspire people to want to achieve more than they think is possible.

How I start the day: In total gratitude.

Quality I most admire in another person: Acceptance of others — not just in words, but in deeds.

Three words that best describe me: Curious, apprecia- tive and under development.

Something I love to do that most people would never imagine: Most people who know me know I love professional football. I don’t think they know just how much I love it.

A perfect day for me is: A chilly fall Saturday that starts with a long walk, followed by a long stay at a cozy coffee shop and ending with a deli- cious bowl of soup and a game of football.