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Conversations with Toni Carraway-Smith

Today we’d like to introduce you to Toni Carraway-Smith.

Hi Toni, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
Growing up wanting to be a journalist was my heart desire until I found myself pregnant with my first child at the age of fourteen then second son by the age of sixteen, two jobs homeless, to surviving domestic abuse to suicide due to low self esteem after seeing my grade schools kids able to read and I was struggling understanding their homework while trying to hide that I really could not help them to going over the same homework while they slept and self educating myself. I started drinking, then that led to depression, now I’m grateful today to say I decided to live and not die due to two failed suicide attempts. I pulled out my bags of compiled journals over 28 years of writing and started putting my life story on screen “From Piti Pitiful To Plenty” instead It was a stage production in 2020 her in Houston. Also a devotional came out of that as I learn to forgive and start my healing process by forgiving. The Devotional “I Hear You God” is based on my hearing that inner side to know better and do better. Living in shelters, being abused, suffering from dyslexia and low self esteem was the hardest for me to accept as a single mother. I then had my third son at twenty – five I never let any of these obstacles stop me. After six failed GED test I vowed never to give up, I was determined and passed the test in my mid forties. I pursued my certification in Christian Counseling and dedicated to the Prison Ministry. I’m Also working towards my non profit to assist teens, young adults survivors of Suicide and Domestic Violence. I volunteer currently with The Fort Bend Women’s Center and I’m excited  to start with the Star of Hope due to the pandemic that’s on hold. I and my publisher are working on a few literacy projects, I added a link to an recent article with the Katy Fort Bend Magazine in case you would like to see it. I’m a Mother of Three sons Eric, Cedrick and Norman and six grandchildren. Motivational Speaker , Podcast Host of DestinyTalk w/ “T” & Co-Host of the “Promise Talk Show on Boss Up Houston, Certified Christian Counselor. My Goal is to Inspire, Uplift, Encourage and Motivate as many souls that I God allow me to reach around the world by sharing my story to give hope and to let others know giving up is not an option, I was determined that it was not one for me.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Walking in to house with my second son and my mom hesitant to tell me with my stepfather behind her telling me 24 hours after having my second child at 16 I could not stay there with nowhere to go (After having my second son), my sister had to take me with her to a friends house I and a newborn baby and one in half year old. This is where I started being abused, living a life of making means the best way I could to survive. I was determined to take care of my kids and work I had to make a difficult decision because I had to one to keep my children I was not told how to get assistance that would allow me to go back to school, I went to beauty school to try to obtain my GED at 18 but I got half way to going to state board and embarrassed to go back due to the abuse i was suffering and again afraid to leave my kids with anyone. I then started getting public assistance since I had to stop working got an apartment my dad would assist me with the rent until I got a job at night and moved in a friend to babysit she took all my clothes and things from my apartment I had to stop working again lost the apartment moved in with a friend he started abusing me then I went to another shelter I had panic attacks that he would find me at this time my sister moved to San Antonio and I caught the greyhound bus and lived with her for one year.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
In my Profession in which I love is working at Monitor Medical CPAP, Company with patients ensuring their CPAP Therapy needs are being met. I’m know for giving my time as I love volunteering, speaking in the prisons, collaborating with different people about their testimonies, I’m proud of not giving up, learned the meaning of forgiveness. I believe what set me apart from others is having, me personally having Empathy, compassion to those others may say they don’t deserve it I tend to be a little more compassionate or consider to be more compassionate and strong work ethics in everything that I do.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I love the diversity in our City, I know personally if it’s anything I want to do Houston is the place you can find something to do. It’s Hot the City Heat – but I can deal with it because I love to wear my boots and shorts in the summer :). I’m a country girl, I loved going to the Houston Rodeo!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Professional Headshots by camerywilkins; other book signing event, Podcast

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