We had the good fortune of connecting with Wilner Joseph and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Wilner, what role has risk played in your life or career?
How do you think about risk?
Risk is apart of everyday life. Without taking risk, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Risk requires hope, faith, sacrifice, and believing in yourself. When you believe in yourself nothing can’t stand in your way. Taking risk has lead me to where I am today. It’s important to understand that in order to make your dreams a reality, taking risk is going to be part of everyday battle. When I say battle, it depends what risk your taking. Ensuring that every risk is a calculated risk. Not a risk that will jeopardize everything that you’ve worked hard for. Taking your time to sit with your thoughts, writing down what works and what doesn’t. Understanding what certain risk can mean for you is so important.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
“Hoops 4 All, 501 c(3)” program that offers: mentoring, tutoring, fundamental athletic training, living skills workshops, fellowship, and linkage to care for youth ages 13 -24
Million Dollar Smile, LLC
For profit community initiative and clothing brand created by Wilner “Popie” Joseph in memory of Max “Wilson” Antoine (brother), aimed at raising awareness and offering alternatives to gun violence in high-risk under served communities.
The Million Dollar Smile (LLC) brand and initiative was established by me, in 2017 after his younger brother, Max “Wilson” Antione was brutally gunned down in the city of Bridgeport, CT. The mission of Million Dollar Smile (LLC) is to raise awareness around the social epidemic of gun violence and excessive shooting deaths happening within Black and Brown communities throughout Inner cities.
Wilner has dedicated his time and efforts to his community, by working diligently with residents, local dignitaries, state lawmakers, and law enforcement officials to create dialogue and the much needed action to bring about change. He has expanded his efforts through “Young Athletes 4 Change”, a “Hoops 4 All, 501 c(3)” program that offers: mentoring, tutoring, fundamental athletic training, living skills workshops, fellowship, and so much more.
When you purchase Million Dollar Smile brand merchandise you help to fund “Hoops 4 All, 501 c(3)” community services, programs, and initiatives aimed at keeping young people off of the streets, and focused on making healthier lifestyle choices for themselves and their families. Together we can be the change we want to see.
In loving memory of Max “Wilson”Antoine (February 16th, 1983 – April 20th, 2017)
I got where I am today because I took a risk. I didn’t let my traumatic experiences take over my life, I figured out that God kept me here for a reason to fulfill his purpose by using my platform and resources to help my community. It was not a easy journey but it’s has been a rewarding one. I had to over come a lot of challenges, when you have faith, persistent, determination, and a vision.. I would like the world to know that my organization promotes faith, hope, and opportunities to build up community leaders. We would like them to see better in the world by spreading love, unity through sports and mentoring others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Resturant’s: Mecha, Cafe Silvium, Jerkyz, Divino, Zaza, Sunshine cuisine, Mad Lab, Scalzi Park, West beach, Harbor Point,
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shout out to! God, Mom, Dad, brother Max, Kevin, Marvin, nephews Kymani, Serge, Caden, my daughters Cayla & Camry, the mother of my children Tiffany Jones, my sisters, my spiritual mentor Kwazi, my aunts and uncles, my late grandmother. My college basketball coaches, the city I was born in Stamford CT. My neighborhood I grew up in Merrell Ave.
Instagram: @wpjoseph @youngathletes4change @milliondollarsmile83 @stayinginthemixpodcast