Hi, My name is Maria Solis Belizaire, and I’m a Social Influencer…….This is my story.
Growing up, my life was met with many hardships. Like many other children, I was raised by my divorced parents. I was very outgoing, very athletic, and I kept many secrets. After many years, I finally decided to tell my story and I need your help to do that.
It all started in 2nd grade, when my mother, a local police officer, was caught committing fraud. After that, life went from bad to worse. It never got any better. She would spend the rest of her life in and out of incarceration. Many times we didn’t know where she was, what we were going to eat, or when we were going to see her. I grew up one of 4 kids, so everyone in school knew us well. They would often ask where she was but, as kids, we just invented stories. Through time, we lived in a foster home, shelters, our house caught on fire twice, we lived off government aid and yet we still survived and found a way to smile through all of the pain. Eventually, in 1999, she came down with Leukemia. A month later she received a contaminated blood transfusion from the hospital. Two days later she passed.
Facing the pain of her death, my life flung into depression. I got involved in one abusive relationship after another. With drug users and woman beaters, I suffered many blows. I was constantly bullied until I was 32 for my big nose, black skin, and nappy hair. I loved me, but I hated my life.
A couple years ago I met someone who encouraged me to love myself more and it changed my life forever. That’s where this new journey began. I decided to overcome many of these challenges by using my Face, Voice, and Laughter to speak up and show how all of us who have been through hard times can overcome any adversity. To let everyone know that just because you are having a bad day, doesn’t mean you have a bad life. At the end of the day, only we can control our happiness. Heck, look what I’ve been through.
Through my constant videos I started to encourage others to change their lives too. I became a runner; having run my 2nd marathon in 2015. This year I ran for the Covenant House. A shelter for young adults. I learned how to Snowboard in Japan, I post workout videos for my followers and blogs on diet and nutrition. I share my adventures around the world. I invite everyone into my life with all my joys and sorrows.
Currently, I have been working with a few charities and I am on a mission to help raise money for schools across the globe to acquire uniforms so that other children can attend school. I know it may sound silly, but I know this is what I was born to do.
I want my message to reach Millions of people. I am currently working to create media geared towards, Beauty, Fashion, Fitness, Travel, Relationships, Education and Philanthropy.
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This is My Life……These are my stories……Help me Share them
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Leta Ahmed is a Guyanese-American entrepreneur who has founded and operated two ready-to-wear clothing manufacturing companies in New York City over the last two decades. The company she currently runs, Rafty by Sahara, Ltd., services major retailers and importers globally. Her expertise lies in creating international networks from the bottom up: acquirement of fabric and other raw materials in China and several South Asian countries, which are then used to produce clothing in Bangladesh and Pakistan that is sold the United States and Canada. She has frequently traveled to conferences on global sourcing and overseas production in Hong Kong and China, as well as trade shows in Las Vegas. Her success as a female business owner from a developing country has made her a champion of establishing work opportunities for women in the developing countries where her company oversees manufacturing.
Rafty by Sahara, Ltd., founded by Leta Ahmed in 2001, is located in Midtown Manhattan at the center of the garment industry.The company services clothing retailers and importers, including Foot Locker and VF, among others. Rafty by Sahara, Ltd. has a strong track record of coordinating the transformation of art and design concepts into ready-to-wear items creating a complete clothing lines. Another of the company’s specialties is high-quality, competitively priced mass-merchandising . Rafty by Sahara,Ltd. only operates in overseas factories that satisfy the C-TPAT requirements.
Rafty By Sahara, Ltd. has partnered with Optimum Fashions Wear, Ltd since 2007 and have molded and supported them in all areas of growth; efficiency; services and compliance matters. Today, Rafty By Sahara, Ltd is proud to announce that Optimum Fashions Wear, Ltd is now one of the six garment factories in Bangladesh that was awarded & recognize as an Alliance approved factory.
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On October 13th, Mayor Bill de Blasio, First Lady Chirlaine McCray and Office to Combat Domestic Violence Commissioner Rosemonde Pierre-Louis hosted the City’s 2nd annual UpStander Awards at Harlem Hospital. Chamber President, Quenia Abreu and Chamber Management Fellow, Jacquelyn Martell, attended the event which honored individuals and organizations for their work in combating domestic violence and intimate partner violence. The event was a great way to honor everyday-New Yorkers and individuals working on both a national and international level to spread awareness about domestic violence. The Chamber looks forward to working with the administration in its efforts to combat and bring awareness to domestic violence.