‘I had to keep my composure because I didn’t want to derail my success.’ This financial adviser overcame the odds against her.

Lanta Evans-Motte had to grow up fast. Her mother died when Evans-Motte was still in high school. Two years later, his father suffered a serious stroke. “We don’t know if he’s still alive,” said Evans-Motte, now a financial advisor in Calverton, Md.

Evans-Motte was the youngest of nine children. At a young age, Evans-Motte and her sister were the only children left at home. His family farmed about 100 acres in a poor area of ​​northern Florida. Their crops are corn and tobacco. The two sisters became their father’s caretakers, while the older one helped financially and visited the farm—the family’s main source of income—from time to time. Evans-Motte said they would have “lost the farm” if not for the financial support of her siblings.

His parents deeply believed in the value of education and encouraged their children to work hard in school. Evans-Motte was a diligent student with strong grades. The high school participation rate was about 50%, he said. She struggled through adversity and graduated from high school while dealing with her mother’s death, her father’s breakup, and emotional and financial struggles.

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“At that time there was no health advice for young people like me,” he said. “Now, I encourage people to seek out resources to help deal with trauma. But I didn’t think of myself as having none. It’s so easy to look at the people around you who make your life worse and dismiss what you’re going through. “

A chance meeting gave way to Evans-Motte. The director of financial aid at the University of Maryland happened to be visiting family in northern Florida. Flipping through the local paper, he scanned the list of high school honorees and saw Evans-Motte’s name. He contacted her and offered her a full scholarship to college. Recalling his good fortune, Evans-Motte gratefully referred to it as “God’s intervention.”

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During her college years at Maryland, Evans-Motte worked part-time to pay for personal expenses and help her father with the bills. He bought his winter clothes at the thrift store. His siblings paid for the airfare on his occasional trips back to Florida.

Evans-Motte earned a BS in accounting and an MBA in financial and information systems from the University of Maryland. After completing his MBA, Evans-Motte entered the corporate world. As a black woman, Evans-Motte has faced uncomfortable situations in the workplace, such as the time she injured her leg playing basketball and showing up to the office with her leg tied. A colleague said, “Why did your leg hurt? Jumping out of a tree?”

A few years later, he was a financial manager in a large company. When someone asked him about his education and training, he panicked. “Wow, you really fit in where you are,” the person replied in surprise.

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“I swallowed really hard both times,” Evans-Motte said. “I had to keep my composure because I didn’t want to spoil my success.”

After more than ten years working for large corporations, Evans-Motte began her career as a financial advisor. Now in his 50s, he has been practicing financial planning for 20 years.

Evans-Motte often encourages clients to plan for the worst. Some of them refuse, at least at first, but he gently pushes them to consider insurance products and other long-term care services they may need.

Through her experiences growing up, Evans-Motte has grown increasingly aware of the dangers of losing a parent — and the loss of a parent’s income due to death or disability. “When I turned 30, I got long-term care insurance,” she said. “I know it’s necessary. I was motivated by the unknown trauma of my experiences with my parents.”

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