“Act as though it’s impossible to fail” is the motto that Sergeant Lakia Echols not only lives by, but values.
Sergeant Echols, a 17-year veteran serving with the United States Army, is the founder of MakeMyMotherProud, which provides a range of support services to at-risk youth. She is also the Director of The Child Center of NY Redfern in Far Rockaway, as well as a single mother, motivational speaker, leadership teacher, and highly motivated community leader. Ms. Echols earned a Bachelor’s degree in Organizing Management from St. Joseph’s College and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at St. John’s University.
While deployed in Kuwait from 2004-2006, Sergeant Echols was involved in community development. After serving for two years, she finally discovered her passion – giving back to her community. As the Director of a Cornerstone in one of the most dangerous housing developments in Far Rockaway, Sergeant Echols utilized her military background to encourage the youth that are lost in life to join the service. She has helped several young men and women get off the streets to pursue a career with the service or at educational institutions.
Sergeant Echols also stepped forward when Hurricane Sandy struck, quickly mobilizing assistance for community residents who could not reach a distribution center and bringing food and materials directly to them. She also helped raise $20,000 from private companies that went directly to families affected by the storm.
Sergeant Echols gives selflessly to her community and started several annual events such as the Cinderella Ball Adult Prom, Santa Sleigh Run, Stack Bundles Stop the Violence Basketball Tournament, and Women’s Softball League and Empowerment Group.