While in undergrad, my roommates and I had little to no money, so we would make extra money by working at some of the college parties by collecting the admission fees at the door.
Name: Lakia Downs

How long have you been in Greenville? For most of my life.

Most interesting fact about you: I was born in Germany. My father was in the Army; therefore, my family was stationed there during the time I was born.

Your background: I grew up in the Greer, SC area for the majority of my childhood. I am the second oldest of four children. I attended Greenville County public schools in my earlier years but later attended Spartanburg District 5 schools.

Greenville has always felt like home to me because I have always worked in Greenville and practically go to Greenville for everything!

I attended Lander University where I received a bachelor's degree in sociology. I met some really great friends while at Lander--some of which I still keep in contact with to this day. While in undergrad, my roommates and I had little to no money, so we would make extra money by working at some of the college parties by collecting the admission fees at the door. We were always excited when we received tips! LOL!

After undergrad, I pursued a master's degree in Social Work from the University of South Carolina (However, I'm really a Clemson fan!). Graduate school was challenging but very rewarding. I learned so much about myself during those years and also met some great people.

I began my professional career working for an local non-profit agency in the Greenville where I helped oversee a statewide contract for community-based services for children and families. While I enjoyed the work, I knew that God was calling me to do something greater. I always had dreams of being a business owner, and earlier this year, I took the leap of faith and started my own private practice.

I'm very passionate about promoting mental and emotional health. Each day, I get the privilege of helping broken people heal. As one who has had my own experiences of feeling broken, I know firsthand what it's like to feel like you're in a dark place. It's through my own experiences and journey towards healing that I am able to help others heal and see the light at the end of the tunnel.

One of my main objectives is to continue to bring awareness in the Greenville Community about the importance of mental/emotional health. I am a licensed clinical social worker, I serve on the Board of Directors for the South Carolina Chapter of the National Association for Social Workers (NASW), and I am a licensed minister and actively involved at my church, Freedom Alive Church of Greenville. I enjoy traveling, watching sports, listening to live music, and being an auntie to my beautiful nieces.

Currently reading or watching:
Currently reading "Trust" by Iyanla Vanzant

Hobby: Eat! I love trying new restaurants and different types of food.

Tagline / Motto: Live each day like it's your last.

Who do you work for?
I am proud to say that I work for myself! I am the owner of The Soar Firm, LLC. I provide counseling, coaching, and consulting services. For more information, visit: www.thesoarfirm.com

What is your day-to-day on the job? My day-to-day consists of meeting with clients and helping them tap into their purpose, power, and potential. I'm grateful that God chooses to use me to help clients work through their emotional/mental challenges and help them heal. I love what I do, and it is very rewarding! When I'm not meeting with clients, I am usually completing notes, sending emails, making phone calls, working out at the gym, or eating! :-)

How do you think Greenville would describe you in one word? Passionate

How would you describe Greenville in one word? Evolving

Besides residence, where is your favorite Greenville morning hangout? Chick-Fil-A

Besides residence, where is your favorite Greenville evening hangout? Falls Park
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