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LONZO SMITH | GA MILITARY COLLEGE | THE FACES OF AUGUSTA, GA

LONZO SMITH

Meet Lonzo Smith with the Georgia Military College. We decided to do something a little bit different in our interview format; we incorporated video. This allows you to really get a sense of who we are talking to first hand.  Meeting with Lonzo was invigorating; I think, you will see and feel his passion for his career and community activities he’s involved in right here in Augusta. {press play}

 

 

 

SOME OF OUR QUESTIONS: (youtube video transcript)

Q. What inspired you or led you to your current career?

A. I work at Georgia Military College; I am the business office financial aid and bookstore supervisor. So, that allows me to sort of help students get funding for their classes. Sort of help the school may find financially solvent but my journey into higher education is about a ten-year journey I was working in the corporate world and I was sort of doing the job but I wasn’t really feeling fulfilled I sort of always known that I wanted to work in higher education at that particular time I was working for Citigroup as a personal financial services manager and that was at the time of the housing crisis and I was sort of seeing the handwriting on the wall I wasn’t in the position to change the corporate culture because of the position that I had when I ran in office I had a staff but there were rules and regulations that I couldn’t change so I got out I resigned bought a car took a vacation and I guess that was me putting pressure on myself to make a change so during that vacation what we did we decide what I wanted to do and I knew that I wanted to be in higher education and work in non-profit I went back to school to get an advanced degree and then I started volunteering with nonprofits with Saint Stephen’s ministries with augusto pride with PFLAG with Michelle’s kids to sort of earn my stripes and that aspect and then I started getting into higher education I did something a little bit unconventional I knew that a new school was being built here that was Miller Mott Technical College at that particular time and I used to take my lunches at the construction site andmake friends with the people who were building it I said let me know when the decision-makers come and they’re doing the punch list and they called me they said the people that are making the decisions are here put my suit on went over there while they were doing the punch list presented my resume while they were doing their walkthrough and that evening I got offered a job in higher education and I did that as financial aid admissions and then ultimately the interim director of admissions with no Lamont Technical College then that led me to the position here in financial aid an adjunct professor and then also currently now as the director well not the director of the supervisor for business office financial aid in the bookstore so that’s how I got into that field and that’s how I got into to nonprofit at the same time and with working with a gust of pride that became sort of like my passion project started with them just as a volunteer then working with PR then doing becoming vice president and then president so right now most recent past president of Augusta Pride so we’ve grown that from a festival of 2000 people to where we have 13,000 people an economic driver being recognized by the city as being bringing about 1.3 million dollars worth of economic impact on that one day of our festival we have we have a lot of things doing so I was able to put my passions a sort of you know being an activist you know being an educator you know meld them into one to sort of craft the person that I am right now

 

Q.  What is your favorite restaurant in Augusta, and what do you love there?

A.  It’s going be unconventional, I think people would think I love going out to restaurants; but I love going to the pizza joint and for me, I like the pizza joint because there’s everyone loves pizza and it’s less about you know the complications of the food and what are we going to order it’s more about just sitting with the people you love meeting new people and just having a conversation that is the one thing that I really love just interacting with people and talking to people and I can meet my friends and I know it’s not gonna be a complicated meal but we can really talk about our day and talk about our lives and talk about the things that are important to us

 

Q.  How long have you lived or worked in Augusta?

I’ve been in since 92 my father was in the military and that sort of led me traveling around and I sort of ended up settling here I tell everyone Augusta is like a 2-hour city you can decide on a Friday that you want to go somewhere in two hours you can be someplace different and it’s not complicated and it’s really grown in those in those years that I’ve been here

 

Q.  What advice would you give a crowd of people?

A.  My favorite word in the entire world is strut and I always say show up and show out when I say strut it’s like if I feel I’m unsure about it in a situation or unsure about environment you know I put my shoulders back you know and I just strut into the situation playing on my all my strengths and then I say show up and show out because anytime you get an opportunity to show who you are always showing your best and always show out to make it memorable

Lonzo Smith | Georgia Military College

Thank you, Lonzo. You made my experience easy and comfortable.  To new beginnings.  Friends for Life.

~micki

 

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