Undeniably the face of missing children everywhere, Symbolie Monique Smith also known as “Monique” is the Founder of Known as Monique Foundation, Inc. – a non-profit organization. After spending nearly thirty-two years on earth, surviving a childhood of severe abuse, and being blessed with two children, Monique stumbled upon shocking news that would drive anyone to take their life…………she did not exist.
Monique discovered that the woman who had raised her was not her biological mother and that she, in fact, may have been stolen from her mother in New York. This news sent Monique on a question frenzy — What was her real name? How old was she? Where was she born? Who was her biological mother?
With so many unanswered questions, Monique spent nearly a decade trying to find out what happened to her and conjure up ways to uncover her true identity. After speaking to every national and federal agency designed to help missing persons and getting nowhere, Monique ended the tireless search for herself. Instead, she decided to focus on leaving a legacy behind for her now four beautiful children. Although she had no family history to share with them, she certainly had to do something to start the family tree with a bang.
In 2011, Monique publishing her book titled, “I Am The Ancestor” and for the very first time, she shared her story with her children, friends, acquaintances, book clubs and people all around the world. All proceeds from book sales go to supporting the work of the Known As Monique Foundation and other local and national organizations advocating for exploited and missing children.
In an effort to provide hope to families of missing persons, Monique founded her very own non-profit organization just one year after releasing her book. The Known As Monique Foundation is on a mission to prevent the epidemic of missing and exploited children, as well as those who fall victim to human trafficking through raising awareness, promoting advocacy, providing empowering education to parents, professionals, and caregivers, and providing support and resources to the families with missing loved ones and persons who discover that that may have been abducted and aren’t sure of their true identity as well.
In her quest to raise awareness, Monique has testified in Annapolis, Maryland alongside Delegate Jill Carter and other missing children advocates to help legalize a bill aimed at improving cooperation between state agencies and advocacy groups. The bill, known as “Phylicia’s Law,” was passed in memory of missing North Carolina teen, Phylicia Barnes who disappeared in 2010 while visiting Baltimore and was found dead months later.
Today, Monique and her Known As Monique Foundation are known as the go-to resources within her networks for people to get the latest news and updates on children reported missing in the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia areas. The foundation, led by Monique, works tirelessly everyday to reduce the number of missing, exploited and endangered children everywhere; providing families with hope (that their loved ones might still be alive), and give missing children a voice.