Written by: Ebonie Montgomery, R.D.A.
Imagine trying to get somewhere and you have everything you need for your journey except the confidence to get up and go. That is how most women in our Hopeful Smiles™ program feel. It’s not always easy to put on a happy face and smile when you don’t have a presentable smile. The Hopeful Smiles™ program gives women the boost they need to move forward in life. Attitudes and Attire® equips women with tools to find their place in the world, just like Latoya. Attitudes and Attire® gave her the change that she needed to propel herself to where she knew she wanted to be.
Since childhood, Latoya had always been self-conscious about her smile. She says, “Before Hopeful Smiles™, I had limited confidence. I put on a façade for my career, in which I had to show some manner of confidence.” Trying to cope with an abusive husband did not help her self esteem. Latoya was in a situation in which she knew she had to leave. Referred by her case manager at Genesis Women’s Shelter, a domestic violence facility, Latoya knew that Attitudes and Attire® would be that boost of confidence she needed to move on in life and grow her business. Once at Attitudes and Attire®, Latoya got the encouragement she needed. She felt confident that she could successfully run her massage therapy business, but there was something missing; her SMILE!
Hearing about the Hopeful Smiles™ program on the first day of her workshop gave her hope! Unsure of exactly what the program could do for her, she still had a great feeling of aspiration for her future. A restored smile would assist with the trajectory of her life on a professional level and personal level as well. Latoya eagerly began her required volunteer hours. “This was great! Volunteering gave me a sense of giving back while I was also getting help for myself. I knew what the other women felt like, that empowered me and made me want to help even more.”
After her hours were complete she was introduced to Dr. Mary Swift. Latoya says she was ever so grateful to be placed with Dr. Swift. “She made me feel at ease right away, and I was confident in her because of the compassion she showed me and the dedication she invested into my case. Dr. Swift was determined to get the best results for me. She stopped at nothing to make sure she only received perfection. Making sure that everything was exactly the way she wanted it, made me that much more confident in my doctor.” Latoya says she was absolutely shocked with the final results. “They closed my gap!”
Attitudes and Attire® and the Hopeful Smiles™ program were the vehicles that were used to help Latoya continue on her road to success. She is now a successful business woman and is writing a book about her journey. Latoya is thankful and grateful for Dr. Mary Swift and her wonderful staff as well as for Attitudes and Attire® and Hopeful Smiles™.
Approximately 50 DCDS members participate in this program. If you are interested in helping, contact Lori Dees at [email protected]