When I was a boy growing up in the South, I didn’t know the effect poor food choices would have on my physical health and mental wellness. In the spring of 2010, I suffered the loss of steady income after a job layoff. I weighed 360 pounds and never exercised.

One day, I reached my breaking point and realized I couldn’t let my talents go to waste. I signed up to do volunteer work with my local police station in Birmingham, Alabama. But the morning of my first assignment I got lost and ended up at the city’s fitness center. Right then, I decided to volunteer to clean the center twice a day in exchange for help losing weight.

At the fitness center, I learned ways to eat clean and heal my body. The experience made me want to do more in my community, so I founded FitnessFleet Inc., a philanthropic health care company specifically for people of color.

Today, I am a health advocate and aspire to be a physician. I give back to people who are just like me, and in this way I learn self-love.