Exec Leonard Edwards: Making Money and Making A Difference

Exec Leonard Edwards: Making Money and Making A Difference
While some may be striving for a “seat at the table” or a chance at a plush six/seven figure career, are you really prepared to do what it takes to get there?
The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they simply make the best of everything they have.
Take Leonard Edwards for example. Edwards is humble enough to know that he’s not perfect yet he’s confident enough to know he can do anything he can set his mind to. The college football player turned Harvard student is the senior director of corporate partnerships where he’s responsible for more than $4,000,000 in sponsorship agreements in just 2 years for major organizations such as the New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia 76ers and Prudential Center. While he’s accomplished more in 40 years of life than most in a lifetime, that doesn’t stop him from coming back home to Chicago and giving back to his community.
Not bad for a guy from the rough streets of Chicago’s south side huh? 
Despite holding a masters and bachelors degree from North Park University, and currently pursuing a masters in finance degree from Harvard University, Edwards road to success wasn’t an easy one. A lot of people talk about giving back, Leonard puts in work!
The product of a single mother, a young Edwards was determined for greatness by any means by accepting non paid and under paid internships for major sport brands such as the Chicago White Sox for years. “ I interned four times only being paid for the last one — a salary of 600 bi-monthly  ($512 after taxes). The main point is giving up your time, your [perceptions] of making a lot of money and staying focused on your goal. The first year I only made $13K but I was also the number one intern that generated revenue. ” said Edwards.
He finally got an opportunity to work for the Orlando Magic and without a dime to his name, he made it happen, moving to Orlando in an apartment with no furniture. Often times skipping dinner due to the fact he simply couldn’t afford it but remained focused on his goal and boy did it pay off.
Edwards has traveled the world, lived the good life, broke records and shows no signs of slowing down in his career, he still remembers what it was like to go hungry, so he also performs random acts of kindness including handing out $100 bills to homeless individuals at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Staying faithful to his roots, Leonard created and funded (with his own money), the LME Believe Foundation, which focuses on creating opportunities for youth and annually awards $1000 college scholarships to Julian students. He was also inducted into Percy Julian High School’s hall of fame and named “Highest Achiever” by his fellow students in 2016.
Edwards was also honored as one of Black Enterprise Magazine’s Modern Men in 2017.
When asked who inspired him, Edwards replied: “My grandmother, Theresa Olivia Smith, has inspired me to become the man I am today. My grandmother taught me about sacrifice.  I’ve watched both my grandmother and mother for years do so much with so little. I do it for them and my brother.” 
Leonard Edwards is truly a man of excellence and class with a heart of gold. Success is clearly in his DNA and he shows no signs of slowing down. Thank you for showing everyone how it’s done!
nakita1Nakita Nicci is an official Cast Member of Bravo Television’s hit series, To Rome for Love. She’s also President of Lanique Virtual Solutions,  Rolling out magazine journalist and a fearless Lupus survivor. 

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