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Failing Up The System – EP. 39

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Paula Creed-Smith talks about defining success on your terms. The Brave Files Podcast.



Top Takeaways From This Episode:

  • You have the power to change your life.
  • Everyone needs support if they are to succeed.
  • The path to happiness and success looks different for everyone.

Show Notes:

Always a “Good Girl”

Paula Creed-Smith was raised in a conservative Jamaican home where young girls were to be seen and not heard. Sadly, at a very young age, she learned to please the people around her. Always, the needs of others came before her own. As you might expect, this mentality caused quite a bit of internal confusion as she tried to find her place in the world as a strong young woman. The was a constant struggle of who she wanted to be versus who she thought she should be. Couple that with the pain of sexual abuse, Paula experienced significant hardship as a young girl.

A Dark Path

The loss of her beloved grandmother pushed Paula over the edge. Devastated, her life was completely rocked. With her grandmother’s absence,  Paula went down a path of depression and self-destruction. Unfortunately, she resorted to drinking, smoking and skipping school at the young age of 12. Additionally, her mother’s overwhelming grief led to a neglect that landed Paula in the foster care system.

Eventually, Paula’s self-sabotaging behaviors resulted in bouncing from home to home in the foster care system. Finally, she landed in a youth lockdown facility where she finally decided to straighten herself out. Paula discovered there was a power within herself to make drastic changes. Bravely, she became determined to turn her life around.


The Brave Files Podcast welcomes Paula Creed-Smith. Failing up the system.

“I am more than this!”

After realizing her life was worth fully living, Paula took action. She aged out of the foster care system and moved on to independent living. Believing that the “system” needed care and improvement, Paula joined an initiative advocating for children both in foster care and aging out of the system. Proudly, she took a position as a Life Skills teacher, providing education and real-life preparation for children aging out of the foster care system. Because of her true determination, Paula aims to provide resources, on-the-job training, and entrepreneurial education for young people moving on to independent living.

Other resources mentioned in Paula’s interview

Brevard C.A.R.E.S

State of Florida Foster Care

Florida Department of Children and Families – Foster Care

Florida’s Center for Child Welfare – Normalcy Resources

More About Paula

Now, Paula is the owner of Ceh Flora Gift Co., a luxury gift company located in sunny Florida. She offers pre-curated and custom curated gift boxes, favors/swag and stationery. Happily, Paula is a married mother of two. She has been with her husband Sheldon for 12 years and they have 2 daughters, Azzaryha, 6 and Lael, 4. Paula is deeply committed to her faith, family and a small circle of friends. Some of her favorite things include all things coffee, rum raisin ice cream, music, and singing.

Before Ceh Flora, Paula worked in social work for several years, inspired by her time in foster care. She approaches every interaction as a social worker. The heart of a servant, with a detail-oriented mind and pursues goal driven outcomes with each business exchange.

Connect with Paula

We encourage you to learn more about Paula’s heart-centered and service-based business through her website. You can also connect with her on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Giving is Good:

Joyfully, Paula Creed-Smith supports Brevard Family Partnerships. The organization believes all children deserve to feel valued and loved while in a safe and nurturing home. Brevard Family Partnerships provide services related to foster care, adoption, counseling, and mental health. Community outreach services are available to children and families in Brevard County, Florida.

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About Your Host:
Heather Vickery
Heather Vickery
Heather Vickery is an award-winning business owner and global leader with over 20 years as an entrepreneur. She leverages her entrepreneurial skills and expertise to coach individuals towards greater personal and professional fulfillment by helping them leverage their fear into intentional bravery. Heather says “When we choose bravely, on purpose, we choose bigger, have bigger successes and it’s contagious” A celebrated public speaker, Heather inspires audiences and empowers attendees with the tools they need to live bold and successful lives through creating balance, time management, mindfulness, as well as countless systems, strategies, and boundaries. She’s the author of Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus and Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families. Heather is also the host and executive producer of The Brave Files Podcast.
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