Zoe’s Dolls is a mission that I hold close to my heart. While that mission has truly become, my passion: the mission, the vision and the overall direction is driven by one person−Zoe Terry.
Every decision from business cards to expanded programs goes through this little CEO. She wants to be a part of every aspect of Zoe’s Dolls. From website revisions to press releases, you better believe Miss Zoe is at the helm. So exactly, who is this Zoe Terry?
For starters, she’s a no-nonsense, mover and shaker, who loves discovering new things and taking new adventures. She’s an out of the box thinker, which is matched perfectly by her bubbly disposition and quirky style. She is just as much a businesswoman as she is a philanthropist. She has a heart of gold and would give her last to anyone in need.
Miss Zoe was born October 19th. She is an 8 year-old fourth grade student at Miami Country Day School. Zoe was born in Washington, DC but has called South Florida her home since she was 3 months old.
Miss Zoe, a passionate young lady, is full of life and is determined to achieve greatness. She is a young leader that overcomes obstacles by any means necessary. At the age of 2, Zoe was diagnosed with having a stroke. The stroke affected Zoe physically, which left her having difficulties with her fine and gross motor skills.
Zoe was unmoved! Zoe takes intensive physical and speech therapy, and is overcoming most of her physical limitations. Last year Zoe reached a milestone, learning to ride her bike without training wheels, a feat that was once thought not to be possible. While Zoe still has some work to do with building up her strength on the right side of her body, and working with her speech, Zoe remains unstoppable.
She dances three times a week with Next Generations Dance Academy and plays tennis regularly at Pepper Park. She also gives speeches at local schools, churches and radio stations.
Perhaps what is just as big as her zeal and determination to achieve greatness is her heart and spirit of servitude. Zoe’s teachers’ describe her as having a Gandhi like spirit and often calls her a peacemaker. She is known for her smile and warm hugs.
Zoe was 3 years old when I began instilling in her the importance of paying it forward and giving. Every year at Christmas time, I would ask her to give away one of her gifts to a child less fortunate. Zoe happily complied. Well, at the age of 5, Zoe told me that she did not want to do that anymore. Zoe stated that she wanted to “start a business that gives free brown dolls to little brown girls in need at Christmas time.” Thus, this was the beginning of Zoe’s Dolls.
Starting on her birthday each year, Zoe asks family and friends to donate a new unwrapped doll of color in lieu of a birthday gift. Zoe collects dolls from October 19th through December 20th. Last Christmas Zoe’s Dolls gave out over 500 dolls of color.
Zoe is a superb, student, excelling in math, English and Science and truly lives by her school’s mantra to Think, Create and Lead. Zoe is currently looking to develop her own line of dolls of color that represents all the beauty that little Black girls embody!
Zoe has been recognized in The Miami Times, The Miami Herald, on WMBM and WHQT, Hot 105. Zoe was recently named the Junior Weight Honoree for the prestigious Fight of My Life Award and she was also the Regional Winner for the Kohl’s Cares Award for her philanthropic efforts.
Zoe is a member of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Miami Gardens, where she serves on the youth usher board. Her favorite food is mussels, soup and salad. She loves playing on her iPhone, hanging out with her best friend Eryn and spending time with her Gaga (her Godmother.) and I. Her motto is “Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m possible” Zoe has a rescue dog named Nikko.