Haitian immigrant is the face of Lay’s chips
Jean Paul Laurent founded Unspoken Smiles, a nonprofit promoting oral hygiene
Jean Paul Laurent, a Haitian-born immigrant is featured smiling on a variety of Lay’s flavored chips bags.
The new bags are part of a campaign to promote Operation Smile, a nonprofit that provides surgeries for people with cleft lips or palates.
Laurent was chosen to be featured on the bag because he founded Unspoken Smiles, a nonprofit promoting oral hygiene, especially among children.
Laurent has helped more than 7,000 children worldwide achieve and maintain their oral health, The Haitian Times reported.
In 2004, Laurent immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Rockland County, New York, before moving to Spring Valley.
Before becoming the self-proclaimed Mayor of Smiles, the then 21-year-old was working at Target with limited English-speaking skills.
“[Sixteen] years ago[,] I landed in this beautiful [sic] with just a suit case and a dream to excel, he said on LinkedIn.
“A month later, I got my first job at Target with barely enough English to ring items as a cashier. Fast forward today, I’m at the very same store in west Nyack buying potato chips with my smile in them.”
He studied his way from Rockland Community College to New York University’s College of Dentistry, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Laurent then obtained an Executive MPA from Columbia University.
In 2014, his organization got recognition by the United Nations and Clinton Foundation.
Laurent got a role as a UN special consultant, providing requested advice and written statements on social and economic conditions in various countries, The Hatitain Times reported.
He was also a recipient of the President Obama Lifetime Achievement Award for volunteer service, and recently this past summer, he became a TEDx organizer.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!