Margo Thomas was born to a single mother of three in one of the world’s top-ranked beautiful places to visit, The Bahamas.
She was raised by her aunt and grandmother in Nassau.
“I attended private schools and a public school for three years,” Thomas said. “I did not come from a rich family, but the environment was great compared to some. I recently did a privilege walk that made me realize how privileged I was. One of the biggest influences in my life was my grandmother. She was a housekeeper with no formal education above elementary school, but she taught me professionalism, work ethic and the importance of your first impression.”
Thomas earned her associate’s degree in accounting at the College of Bahamas and later received her bachelor’s degree at Valdosta State University in accounting.
In school, Thomas was shy and learned later that there are programs that would help her with public speaking skills.
“I wish I had accessibility to those opportunities earlier where I was taught to speak without the fear of being ridiculed or the idea of judgment,” Thomas said.
Her biggest challenge was navigating becoming a mother at a young age. Raising a child in the United States with a different culture and mindset was an adjustment.
After college, Thomas worked in banking and a couple of years ago started working with Take Stock in Children at Tallahassee Community College. This program prepares middle and high school students for college and careers.
“I have known Margo Thomas for many years both on a personal and professional level,” coworker Lynette Richardson said. “Margo is a very talented individual with a myriad of knowledge and experience as an author, entrepreneur, accountant, director and an expert in her field working with K-12 students.”
Thomas finds her work satisfying.
“It is a passion of mine to help students with similar backgrounds as I learn about college,” she said. “A lot of students in the program are first-generation college students and seeing them succeed is all I ever hope for.”
“My greatest accomplishment was finishing college,” Thomas added. “It took me 10 years to get there but I paved a way for my family. I changed my family’s view on education. All the generations under me have college degrees or decided to pursue a career.”
Her 28-year-old daughter Antonia Thomas followed in her mother’s footsteps to receive a degree in the TCC2FSU program.
“She is passionate about student success and her work in helping students succeed in college,” Thomas’ daughter said. “She has helped countless students stay on track, through the offerings of scholarships from Take Stock in Children, always seeking to impart knowledge in how to become a better student, and citizen.”
Thomas is now 49 and her vision for the future is to continue writing books about financial literacy and completing school with little to no debt. The goal is to help every student and graduate manage money and become financially responsible.
“A bible verse I live by every day is Psalms 37:4, ‘Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart,’” Thomas said.