Operation HOPE Youth Empowerment Program Manager, Jessica Washington, had the opportunity to work with her childhood friend and Business Role Model, Latoyia Booth. In preparation for the 2016 Hope Global Forum Pitch Competition, Latoyia Booth took on the role of Alexia’s Business Role Model. Their partnership was pure dynamite! Below, Latoyia Booth shares her testament of how investing in others has the potential to change your life.

“Four months ago, I began a journey of service that enriched not only the life of the child I served, but my life as well. I am one of the millions of Facebook-obsessed individuals who scrolls through their news feed mult
iple times a day. As I was scrolling one day, I happened to see a past from an old friend, requesting Business Role Models to assist with Operation HOPE’s Business In A Box Academies Pitch Competition. Although I knew I should volunteer, I ignored that quiet voice of intuition telling me to “move.” I wondered. How much time was this going to take? Do I really want to give up my free time?

I took a deep breath and asked myself 3 questions.

  1. What have I been able to accomplish because someone took the time to invest in me?
  2. How can I pay that investment forward?
  3. What’s the right medium for me to give back?

I’m no artist, but I am a business professional. Since those are the skills that are needed, I AM the right person for this job. My mind was made Business N A Box 1and so the journey began. When I first met Alexia Minter, I found a shy, soft-spoken girl with a great business idea. The mission of Miniature Chefs is to help children ages 6-12 learn to cook meals, and explore their culinary talents. Alexia had a great idea, but she needed help growing out her business plan, and communicating the mission on a larger scale. I introduced her to various business techniques, like the ones I use everyday to complete real world projects at The Coca-Cola Company. We did a S.W.O.T. Analysis, Stakeholder Analysis, and a Gantt Chart. I taught Alexia about the 4P’s of marketing, and how they affect a financial statement called the P&L. We worked tirelessly on her presentation skills. We focused on enunciation, projection, and body language. I even brought her to work at The Coca-Cola Company where we practiced the pitch in the CRB Austin Auditorium. She did on the spot pitches to random co-worker of mine who happened to be walking down the hall.

Finally, the day of the pitch competition arrived. Alexia got on stage at the 2016 Hope Global Forum, and gave the performance of a lifetime! After nailing her pitch, Alexia went on to win the competition and the $1,000 prize. After witnessing Alexia’s success, I realized that we all have a gift that can be shared to enrich someone else’s life. What will you do to serve others?”

Helping others can be a truly rewarding experience. To sign up to become a Business Role Model, please visit our HOPE Corps Volunteers page.