TONYA LADIPO, LCSW: FOUNDER & CEO, THE LADIPO GROUP

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My Native Admission Statement: I’ve never been satisfied with the “way things are supposed to be”. As a child, I watched my mother work full time, go to school at night, and raise me. I knew that I didn’t want a life of exhaustion. I think that’s when the seeds of SOS for Superwomen were first planted. I am the visionary behind the region’s only counseling and consulting practice specializing in serving Black and African-American communitiesn. I am also a graduate of the Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program (2016).

How did you get into the industry?

When I was 24 years old my hair fell out. I was single with no responsibilities, yet the way I was working resulted in stress-induced alopecia. I spent my life watching my mother and grandmother work long and hard hours. My grandmother cleaned houses and my mother was a full-time teacher going to graduate school at night. I assumed being a Black women meant working hard and long hours so that’s what I did. It took me a few years to return to my childhood thought that I didn’t want to live a life of survival and exhaustion. As I learned new ways to work, be in supportive relationships, and ultimately thrive in life, I wanted to share these lessons with other women. I combined my personal experience with years of working with Black women facing similar struggles and created SOS for Superwomen.

My Favorite Places/Destinations?

Water soothes my soul so I’m happy anywhere with a beach and ocean. Or sitting on the beach in Chicago, where I was born and raised.

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