Onica A. Charles, Dedicated Entrepreneur and passionate Philanthropist
She was born and raised in the small land of many waters- Guyana. Although beautiful, the South American destination is poor, and so, life there is usually far from being a smooth sail.
Indeed, there were some who could have afforded a more comfortable, and in some cases, a more luxurious life. But, Onica Charles was not among those. She faced many challenges and disadvantages during childhood.
However, when she was 12 years old, her parents migrated to the land of opportunities- the United States of America. This was to give little Onica the chance of having a good education; one that she was not prepared to take lightly. The young lady was determined to raise the social and financial status of her family. So, instead of going out to party and hangout, Onica Charles stayed at home doing homework and studying.
Today, she proudly holds a Bachelors Degree in International Relations. This was earned in 2007 through Florida International University. In 2009, Onica Charles also went on to achieving a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Nova Southeastern University. While attending that institution, Charles interned with two local municipalities- the City of Miami Gardens and the City of Sunrise.
Upon graduation, Charles was hired as an Administrative Officer for latter, where she developed Programmed Based Budgeting for the entire city. The struggling little girl was finally a woman of substance, independent and well respected.
As an undergraduate though, she was involved with alternative spring breaks, spending time off from school to participate in local, national, and international service projects geared to assisting the less fortunate. It was via this that Charles developed an undying passion for philanthropy. She felt that her purpose was merely to help others.
Onica Charles has traveled extensively to various parts of the world assisting clinics and centers set up to serve disadvantaged communities. Of course she started out with simple projects like handing out sandwiches to the homeless. But in her heart, the young lady knew that it just takes a small gesture to make the world a better place.
In 2007, Charles founded the International Children’s Outreach (ICO) Incorporated, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children facing poverty throughout the world. It targets poor communities and countries, providing those in need with food, healthcare and educational supplies. The organization would also spearhead training seminars aimed at developing the financial status of families living in third world countries.
Charles is undertaking the building of a community center in her homeland. After the safe haven for children is constructed, monies raised will go directly towards providing vital assistance so they can be properly educated.
It should be noted that Charles opened her first child care facility within a low income neighborhood, in 2011. The Little Masters Child Care Center not only offers full day-care services for children ages one to 12, but it also provides tutoring, mentoring and other sessions aimed at instilling moral values in them.
With her vibrant entrepreneurial spirit, Charles opened a similar facility in Miami, called the Little Masters Academy.
She wholeheartedly believes that, “In giving back, you not only learn the value of helping others, you appreciate the opportunities that you were given.”