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Sonia White

Founder, Smile Foundation, Inc.

Sonia White's strength is in her persistence and passion and love of life and always striving for excellence. The Smile Foundation, Inc., Smart Men In Leadership Excellence (S.M.I.L.E.) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to encourage, empower, educate and mentor young minority men to be successful in life.

The books that have had the most influence and growth in my life are the Bible, Michelle Obama's Becoming, Dr. Myles Munroe’s In Pursuit of Purpose, God Is My CEO by Larry Julian, anything from John Maxwell, and so many more.

The biggest in influence in my life is my beloved grandmother Aria Brown, my phenomenal best friend since 2nd grade, Dr. Nicole Evans Ross, and my beautiful mother. My wonderful children Maya Nicole, Dakari, and Demetrius have also had a tremendous impact and influence on my life they are my rock and foundation and the reason I keep going.

The biggest failure I have had was being terminated from a job that I did my best and this taught me that I still have my gift and that I am not defined by what I do there are so many more great opportunities to strive for. It was a blessing in disguise. It helped me to see the gift was in me.

My typical day is an average of 14 hours or more working in the healthcare field in addition to working on my nonprofit that is mentoring and educating young minority men in all aspects to be successful in life and provide the necessary tools, education, support. life skills and mentors for them to be successful in life. It doesn't matter what time you get up as long as you are productive during the time that you are awake and always striving to do our best.

The things that keep me going when things get tough is my passion for helping people, my vision, my faith, my “why” in this world, and my children and wanting to also build a legacy for our family and generations to come.

I would say to a business owner that is struggling is to never give up, have that one friend, family member and or associate that you can confide in, and most of all trust God and have him lead you. Struggle is part of the process and I have not known one single successful person that has not struggled or encountered some type of adversity. The struggle is strength and is necessary to build upon your weakness. Keep going!

When things get tough in my business being a new venture is viewing the success that is the prize at the end. Actually, there is no end, you have to continue to grow and evolve in your personal and professional endeavors and life. I was in the military and the key word was paradigm. We must never remain complacent and never stop learning. Read, read, read!

My favorite mantra is proper planning prevents poor performance. We must have plans and goals and a strategy to reach them. Success is intentional.

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