Dr. Lagena L. Smith
Dr. Smith is a visionary, a coalition builder, and servant leader who can connect with any individual on any level. She has always been a strong advocate against injustices directed at disadvantaged individuals and is very passionate about economic empowerment, social welfare, and alleviating poverty in the community. She founded Inspiring G-Style, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization with the mission of improving employability, aptitude skills, and life skills of disadvantaged individuals. The vision is to better secure the success of disadvantaged individuals in the workplace and ultimately become economically self-sufficient. She is now taking on “the call for action” to be a difference maker in the community by inspiring hope and providing the supportive services for the disadvantaged. The driving force behind Dr. Smith’s passion for helping the underprivileged originates from her upbringing that taught her the importance of giving to the less fortunate.
Dr. Smith’s passion for motivating and empowering people to take charge of their life is evident from her past volunteer work and current vision. Having grown up poor, receiving welfare and Section 8, she can relate to the barriers and challenges that low-income individuals face daily. These barriers and challenges include a lack of motivation and self-esteem, a lack of employment and critical thinking skills most employers require, and the lack of an external support system to maintain a job. She attributes her success today to the scholarship assistance she received from a community nonprofit in 1996 (the Bernie Scholarship), which helped her pay for her bachelor’s degree program, when she was a participant in Montgomery County’s Housing Opportunities Commission’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program from 1994 to 1999. She returned her gratitude to the nonprofit by serving as a board committee member from 2010 to 2013.