Program Success August 2014 | Page 18


A community leader and trailblazer businesswoman for 23 years is only part of Sylvia Blackmon Roberts ' story . The greater story is one of her being a spirit-driven woman who serves as a role model for girls , women , and community youth . When you speak of giving back , Sylvia ' s life is about serving . Community conscious , Sylvia ' s legacy of service was instilled by her mother Leola Green Blackmon who was a Civil Rights Advocate . Sylvia lives her mother ' s quote : " Service is the rent you pay for your space on earth ."
Born the 9th of 11 children to sharecroppers Percy Lee Blackmon , Sr . and Leola Green Blackmon , in segregated Mississippi , Sylvia was taught that faith , education , and hard work were the keys to moving the mountain of social injustice to achieve your goals . It was that empowerment that birthed her vision of leadership as a CEO .
" My mother was a believer in education and she instilled in every one of her children the value of an education as that equalizer to economic prosperity . As such my sibling and I are very close and each has their own success stories . But even greater is the fact that we all are servants of God and have a great love for God ."
Front Cover Feature Sylvia Blackmon Roberts Business Leadership & Development Public Planning and Management Consultant Lakeland , Florida August 2014
An encourager by nature , Sylvia inspires others to set lofty goals . She often says to youths , " Just as others allowed me to stand on their shoulders I offer my shoulders to you to achieve your dreams ."
Her normal workweek is 60-70 hours and sometimes more , yet she still finds the time to give back with her time , talents , and treasures . It is not unusual to find Sylvia cheering at a child ' s event , checking on a youth at school or serving as a Take Stock in Children Mentor . No , these children are not biological relatives . She has been a school mentor for the past 20 years . She serves on numerous community boards and committees . She is an active member of her church , New Bethel A . M . E ., in which she oversees the Single Parents Ministry and serves a Steward .
Sylvia is a noted speaker . In addition to her expertise in Business , she loves to share how her education brought her from the cotton fields of Mississippi to a successful businesswoman interacting with Presidents , First Ladies , and Governors ; National , State and Local Public Officials ; Social , National and Corporate Leaders ; along with Celebrities .
Her voluntary service , community , and civic involvement span