When we’re constantly told we can’t do something, part of us starts believing so. It takes exceptional determination, in such circumstances, to dare step out of our comfort zones and push the limits of our potential. Dr. Antoinette Liles is a fine example of what can be achieved when you refuse to be limited. She is a successful entrepreneur, a TV star, a celebrated business visionary, and an admired community leader.
Raised in Michigan, Antoinette spent a troublesome childhood. After living with her abusive mother in Section 8 housing and moving every year of elementary school, she was rescued by her father, who later lost everything to his gambling girlfriend. Eventually, Antoinette moved in with her paternal grandparents and stayed with them until completing high school.
At 17, she moved out of Michigan, perceiving education as her escape. Antoinette showed signs of remarkable potential from an early age. When she applied for the scholarships and grants available in 2010, she qualified for every one of them. After receiving a Full Ride Presidential Scholarship at Jackson State University and additional scholarships and grants, Antoinette graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s in Chemistry. In 2010, she received the Gilman Scholarship to study Spanish abroad in Costa Rica.
At 25, she completed her Doctorate in Dental Medicine from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry as a Hinman Scholar in Dental School. Antoinette was ambitious to turn her life around with an impressive educational background but was stuck in a marriage that restricted heAt 25, she completed her Doctorate in Dental Medicine from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry as a Hinman Scholar in Dental School. Antoinette was ambitious to turn her life around with an impressive educational background but was stuck in a marriage that restricted her development. But she had come a long way from her humble beginnings due to her drive never to settle. Inevitably, she finalized her divorce in 2019
As the pandemic drastically changed the way of life in the following year, Antoinette found herself alone, unemployed, and struggling as an independent dentist. She had overcome one obstacle after another and realized the worst of her challenges were over. Despite a gloomy atmosphere as she tried saving up on utility bills, Antoinette’s dreams and her belief in her talent led her to the light at the end of the tunnel of her hardships.
Today, she is the founder of a new state-of-the-art dental office in Pearl, Mississippi, thoughtfully named Mint Dental, “Where Art Meets Science.” It was Mint to be. She is also a TV star, appearing in Belle Collective, Oprah Winfrey Network’s reality TV series following the life of 5 extraordinary businesswomen from Jackson, Mississippi, working together to redevelop their historic district. She is also the founder of Mintorship, a mentorship/scholarship non-profit organization providing shadowing and scholarships to pre-dental HBCU students in Mississippi. You can also donate to the program.
As a business and community leader, Antoinette has established herself as a role model for the youth, especially women, since she has been courageous enough to initiate her independently owned venture made it big in a male-dominant field. Her journey from an underprivileged African American girl to shattering glass ceilings to achieve incredible success inspires women to refuse to give up on their hopes for a better life regardless of the barriers. Check out her Instagram space @lilesofsmiles and see how she aspires to inspire.