MEET OUR FOUNDER
Michelle B. Barnes
Michelle is a native of Strong, Arkansas. She founded Real Images in 2014 believing that if women of different backgrounds could unite to discuss the tie that binds all women, magic would happen.
Through her vision, Real Images is celebrated in Central Arkansas as a connector for women to be as inspired and powerful as ever. Michelle’s role as founder and executive director is strictly volunteer. This is her labor of love to the community.
In 2012, Michelle joined the staff team at Our House and serves as the director of housing. Our House, located in Little Rock Arkansas, provides comprehensive services to homeless and near-homeless families and individuals. She is a board member of Central Arkansas Team Care for the Homeless (CATCH), and has also served on the boards of Pulaski County CASA and Lucie's Place. As she says, “My life is eating, breathing, and sleeping nonprofit work and I love it!”
Prior to her nonprofit career, Michelle was the community developer at the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA) in Hot Springs, AR. The school is the only residential public school in the state for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. Michelle was in this role for five years and it was at ASMSA where she developed her first self-image workshops for the students. Unbeknownst to her, this was the seed from where Real Images bloomed many years later.
Michelle has been recognized by the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network- Little Rock as a 20 Over 20 nonprofit professional. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Junior League of Little Rock and Leadership Greater Little Rock Class XXXV. She holds both a Bachelor of Sociology and Masters of Public Administration from UA Little Rock. She is a proud auntie of her nieces and nephews and “mama” to her former students of ASMSA who still reach out to her for life advice.