2020 Future 10: Marilou Smith
Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce and South Brunswick Magazine recognize Brunswick County’s young professionals and future leaders.
PRESCRIPTION ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR, BRUNSWICK SENIOR RESOURCES, INC. | AGE: 30
Marilou Smith was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and raised mostly in Mount Airy, North Carolina, by a single parent. She spent much of her youth in and out of homeless shelters, enduring abuse and often going without food to make sure her younger siblings could eat. In search of a better life, Smith dropped out of high school, moved to Wilmington with her now ex-husband, and at the age of 19 gave birth to their daughter. Thanks to the Workforce Apprentice Program, Smith obtained her GED at the age of 17 and was matched with Brunswick Senior Resources, Inc. (BSRI). Thirteen years later, Smith is still with the organization and is now the prescription assistance coordinator.
Smith refuses to let her upbringing derail her. “For me, growing up the way I did made me who I am today,” she says. “I don’t take it back. I just keep pushing forward. We have to tell ourselves that we aren’t our parents. Just be a better version.” During her 13 years at BSRI, Smith has developed the drive, motivation and compassion to help uninsured and low-income senior citizens in the area get the important medications they need at no cost. She’s more than a resource provider, she’s also their advocate.
“I really love the clients,” Smith says. “I like being their backbone, helping them find the medicines that improve their quality of life. Some of these medicines can run over $600 a month. I work with healthcare providers and pharmacies to help them get their medications.”
In the past 13 years, Smith has helped save Brunswick County seniors more than $17 million dollars in prescription costs and has counseled more than 5,000 Medicare beneficiaries in choosing the best Medicare prescription drug and supplemental plans.
Caught off guard by her Future 10 recognition, Smith says she “was surprised and very excited.”
I’ve been with the organization since I was 18,” she says. “Given my background, it just means a lot to me.”
Smith’s outlook for the future continues to evolve. Her job with BSRI has inspired her to pursue higher education. She graduates in December 2020 with an associate degree from Brunswick Community College and plans to transfer to UNCW to study social work. When she’s not working or studying, she enjoys spending time with her two children and hosting her own podcast, Hidden Within Yourself.