Today we’d like to introduce you to Lakeysha Sowunmi.
Lakeysha, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born and raised in the Windy City, also known as Chicago, over 2,000 miles from San Diego. Growing up, some said I suffered from the youngest child syndrome because I was always pushing the limits, trying new things, and taking risks. I enjoyed walking to school with my friends, playing basketball and running track. Living my best life as a child meant being active and that mentality carried on into my adulthood. The day I enlisted in the United States Navy, I was so excited about staying physically fit, getting money for college, visiting other countries and starting a phenomenal path that I never dreamed of. In the early 2000s, I reported to Naval Air Station North Island and since then, my life has never been the same. The Navy played a very important part in my life and once I transitioned out, I applied every lesson and skill to be a better person and entrepreneur. I have turned my childhood passion into a reality when I founded Perfitkidz, Inc., a nonprofit organization formed to combat childhood obesity. For many years now, I have been on a mission to prevent childhood obesity and empower parents, schools and caregivers to join the movement. I love that I’m able to do what makes me happy and that is to see active, healthy and happy kids.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. One thing that I’ve learned is that whatever comes easy won’t last.
Be flexible but don’t change your plan:
Sometimes things don’t pan out the way we planned, and that’s just life. I’ve been running Perfitkidz for over ten years and I’ve seen so many trends. I’ve been tempted to change my original concept to conform to what’s trending but realized that wasn’t a smart move. What makes you unique are your ideas and your goals. When you jump on the bandwagon, you start competing with others and that’s not productive. Stick to your plan and fine-tune it.
Welcome support, but don’t count on it:
When I first started out, I had supporters that constantly stood by me through the good and bad. Support feels good and it can make you feel like you’re making a difference. While that’s a great feeling, as an entrepreneur, you won’t always get praise for creating a new product or hosting an innovative event. To this day, I am grateful for those that continue to support me.
Great things take time:
One of the greatest lessons that I’ve learned is that great things do not happen overnight. If you’re in this, you’ll have to be in it for the long haul. I honestly wouldn’t want anything that comes quick- easy come, easy go. There were times, especially in the beginning, that I felt that I was doing something wrong because it was taking so long. I haven’t reached my destiny but every day I am closer to getting there. In the meantime, I find ways to market my brand better, network with other companies, attend life-changing conferences, and dreaming big.
What keeps me inspired and positive during any challenge is to remember why I started. Being an entrepreneur takes patience, strength and hard work.
Please tell us about Perfitkidz.
In 2009, I launched Perfitkidz, a non-profit organization formed to prevent childhood obesity.
As a public health advocate and mother, I witnessed many kids stuck indoors playing video games, watching TV, and tied to their cell phones. I also discovered that many local stores and after school programs failed to provide fresh, wholesome food. I felt that it was my duty to step to the plate and find ways to encourage kids to get outdoors, get active and to eat better.
Perfitkidz, Inc. held their first event at a local park in San Diego. We taught nearly 100 kids how to jump double dutch. Since then, we have partnered with schools to incorporate healthy eating policies encouraged teachers to distribute wholesome snacks and non-food items to reward students and celebrate birthdays.
Currently, we work with childcare facilities to offer healthy cooking classes where toddlers made their own nutritious meals and snacks. You can also see us around town at health fairs and community events whipping up delicious smoothies with our smoothie bike. I look forward to continue such activities and working closer with policymakers to create sustainable changes for San Diego .
Since the inception of Perfitkidz, I have been working tirelessly as a health advocate, author, media spokesperson, and community organizer. The California Department of Public Health named me as one of the first women to be named a California “Champion Mom.” I have been featured in the “Legacy of Health” Statewide Media Campaign in where I can be seen on billboards & television commercials and heard on radio station ads Additionally. I’ve been invited to speak at major events such as the Clinton Foundation’s “Health Matters” conference, keynote speaker at a statewide California Department of Public Health summit, presenter at the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Conference.
I am most proud that I get to live the life that I want. I’ve met presidents, celebrities and people of influence because of my work in the community. Through every opportunity I’ve been afforded, I’m glad that I have been able to bring attention to childhood obesity.
- Website: www.perfitkidz.org
- Phone: 619-752-0967
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: /perfitkidz
- Facebook: /perfitkidz
- Twitter: /perfitkidz