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Real Success: MTC alumna honored with 2016 Enterprising Woman of the Year Award

Enterprising Women Magazine has named MTC alumna Lasenta Lewis-Ellis the 2016 Enterprising Woman of the Year. The award is widely considered one of the most prestigious recognitions for female business owners. Here is Lasenta’s testimony about how her MTC Architectural Engineering and Technology degree set her up for real success. 

“When I was in Midlands Technical College as a single mom, I was living in income-based housing. I was a welfare recipient at the time, but I wanted more. I wanted better and that was my full drive, my will power. When I go back to MTC I talk to single parents. I go back so that I can share my story. I also want them to see, yes, I’ve been exactly where they are today, and this is what it took for me to get to where I am now.

I am President and CEO of LLE Construction Group.  

My goal is to take old dilapidated spaces and create something useable and viable for people. 

We focus on K-12 schools, school districts, charter schools, private schools, colleges and universities. We perform services for them, and we also do facility maintenance and management. We replace old lights, we paint, and put in new floors. Whatever is needed in a facility to make it beautiful and usable – that is what we do.

I was recently chosen as the 2016 Enterprising Woman of the Year by Enterprising Women Magazine. I had the opportunity to go to The Ritz-Carlton in Miami, Florida to receive my award. 

Photo of Lasenta Ellis-Lewis with quote

Enterprising Women Magazine looks at women’s issues around the world. The goal of the award is to spotlight women who are experiencing significant growth in their business and women who give back to the community through mentoring. To get that award just meant the world to me.

At Midlands Technical College, I majored in Architectural Engineering and Technology. There were very few women in the program and very few black women. I’m still outnumbered in my field, but I never let that stop me. 

To see students walk into a room that we have renovated is exciting. They leave for spring break or winter break, and they come back into their classroom and it has new painting, new flooring, and they are like- Yay!  It’s good, because it contributes to their learning.

I’m a serial entrepreneur because I also run another business. It’s called Need-A-Lift Transportation Services, LLC, and it is also a passion of mine. Need- A -Lift provides safe, reliable transportation for children to and from school and after school programs. It’s great for working parents who want their kids to be able to get to extra-curricular activities.  

There were times at night when I would sit at the bus stop crying, saying — It’s got to be better than this. I look back and I am always reminded of where I came from.  It was a very challenging time in my life, and there wasn’t a week that I didn't want to give up. I didn't know what was out there next, but I knew it had to be better than where I was at that moment. 

I am Lasenta Lewis-Ellis, and you really can get anywhere from Midlands Technical College.”