explained. While he had a lot to offer the
young men of SOS, Allen’s journey there
was also very personal.
Despite having a great upbringing
with a fantastic mother and very close
relationships to his siblings and other
family members, he too lacked a father
figure. “Not having my father around
motivated me to want to mentor others.
I shared a common ground with them.”
In 2015 Allen was awarded “Mentor
of the Year, “It was amazing because I
was already invested. From the boys to
Sonny, Son of a Saint became my family.”
Two years after his mentoring
achievement, Allen had a surprise
conversation with Sonny. “I remember
him saying that it would be great if
I worked for Son of a Saint,” Allen
recalled. Thinking it was only a joke,
Allen laughed it off and continued his
role as a volunteer, still maintaining his
finance job. However, the conversation
came back around. As he explained,
“Sonny asked me again, but this time, he
was not joking.”
At the time, Allen seemed to be on
top of the world and everything began to
fall into place for him. “I was in a good
space,” he said. “I had just renovated a
gutted house, and everything seemed to
be going well.” He had his life in order
and leaving his corporate job was not
an easy decision at first. “To add to the
fear, I was so nervous to leave my job
in finance. It was a huge risk to go from
corporate to nonprofit,” he added.
When the time came for the final
decision to be made Allen didn’t question
it. After spending five years in finance,
Allen went on to become the Donor
Relations Manager of SOS.
“Moving on from a mentor to an
employee was an easy transition
because I knew all of the moving
parts of the organization,”
Allen took a significant risk by
leaving his first real job and entering
the world of charity and nonprofit,
but it’s a risk he will never regret. “I
love what I do,” he proudly declared.
“I live and breathe Son of a Saint. It
is a 24-hour job.”
Through it all, Allen’s mother
was his biggest inspiration, and she
still inspires him to dream big. “My
mother never stops dreaming,” said
Allen, adding, “And I truly believe
that if your dreams aren't scaring you
a little, then they probably aren’t big
Like his mother, Allen dreams
of doing more for the community:
growing with SOS but also having
his own businesses along the way.
He still thinks about the companies
he created as a child.
“You're always supposed to see
yourself as being greater no matter
where you are in life,” Allen said.
“My life is not just my own. I’m here
to do something greater than myself,
and I want to continue to build upon
that greatness: giving myself and my
energy to a cause and beyond.”
To learn more about Son of a Saint
and what you can do to help visit
their website at http://sonofasaint.
org/ or follow them on Facebook.
8 | BREAKTHRU MEDIA | breakthrumediamagazine.com N O V E M B E R / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 8
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLEN SMITH
PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLEN SMITH
PHOTO BY BIONCA FLOT SYKES
Allen Smith, Bivian ''Sonny'' Lee III