Connect
To Top

Meet Toni Smith of Above Expectation Cleaning in El Segundo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Toni Smith.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m the CEO of Above Expectation LLC, an employment agency developed to employ youth that aged out of the foster care system. A former foster youth myself, I understand how difficult becoming an adult with no one to help guide you can be. I’m the eldest of 8 children, and my life began far from a fairy tale. My mother, a hardworking woman who often worked two jobs to provide for me and my siblings often needed me to step up and take care of the younger children. I was left to be the woman of the household while just a child myself. Anything that was left undone led to dealing with the wrath of my mom.

​Eventually, my mother was introduced to drugs, which exacerbated the beatings. This led to me and my siblings being taken away and placed in foster care. Upon completing courses to regain custody of her children, My mother declined the option of having me return while welcoming my other siblings back home. Due to my admission of the abuse, my mom blamed me for all of us being placed in child protective custody and wanted nothing to do with me. This would be my introduction to life on my own. I was left to fend for myself in the system. I lived in multiple homes before being placed with a foster mother who saved my life. She reminded me that I was too was beautiful and could do anything that I set out to.

​Emancipated from children’s services at 16, I was truly alone and didn’t understand how to navigate this thing called life. Eventually finding my first job at a mom and pop store, I knew there was better for me. While fighting and gaining full custody of my siblings and becoming a mother myself, I birthed an idea of creating something great. This was the labor of love that formed Above Expectation LLC & Above Expectation Cleaning Inc. A safe space for individuals with a background such as myself who just needed a little push, encouragement, and safe employment space to become great.

Now a Mother, Foster Mother and Entrepreneur, I understand that it’s not the beginning of your race that matters but how you finish that determines what legacy you leave behind. “Living a quality life take’s faith and determination paired with a little support makes the world of difference.

Has it been a smooth road?
My struggles were learning life on my own. Being on my own at such a young age with no positive role model and no one to look up to definitely had its struggles from time to time. I had to learn how to be my own role model. I taught myself how to find the positives out of anything negative because there’s always much more positives out of everything or anything thats negative. And why focus on the negative when knowing negative does not bring out anything positive. With any thought or feeling of negativity automatically brings your energy down. Why not shift that thought in order to also better your mood which then will make you feel better. While focusing on the positives, it helps for you to be able to feel that joy of being happy & just overall gratefulness. Learn how to practice having patience and learn to be a listener. Most importantly learning yourself. Knowing and accepting who you are. All those things have helped me become who I am today. Now I have kids who look up to me today and man that feels great! Because now, I have become that Role Model.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Above Expectation Cleaning – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Above Expectation created in 2020 was started with purpose to provide youth who emancipated or became grown from the foster care system with employment and economic assistance who may have trouble getting help otherwise. Its mission is to empower one young adult at a time with vital skills to positively impact the world. Birthed from its founder experience as a foster youth, I made it my calling to embark and create a haven for those who come behind me to gain employment and financial literacy.

​The approach is to provide positive work environment for those who are less fortunate and are possibly being deprived of that. “Our vision is to present a home away from home atmosphere while providing job skills necessary to sustain in today’s society.” Move forward and never look back while building everyone to know that your beginning doesn’t determine your ending. Believe in you as Above Expectation does is our company’s core belief.

​The road is never easy and sometimes tougher for others. We understand and are here to help with making your journey simpler. Approach everyone with empathy, sympathy, and love while nurturing and building a foundation that you can make it is what we believe is necessary to empower. Take what Above Expectation provides as a starting point and run this race called life. You’ll make it to the finish line proudly. Be great.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
Our next step will be raising funding through our Non-Profit Above Expectation Cleaning Inc. To open our very first location in La County. The reason for selecting La County as our first location is because Los Angeles County alone has over 33,000 children in the foster care system. With that being said I’m also super excited to help educate the people in regards to foster care or to help make more awareness about the foster care system. I feel if people are more aware of what the foster care system is and get the proper education behind it will help open doors for people becoming foster parents. Which will help provide more homes for those children in the system. Surprisingly I’ve encountered situations or came in contact with many people who were not familiar or never heard of foster care.

I’m also excited to announce there’s No Application Required, only a specific court document to provide proof of being a former foster youth will help get you through our doors.

We want to get out there and better this world we live in by cleaning up our communities & freeways etc.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

I’m partnered with El Camino College.

Suggest a story: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in