Yolanda Jones does honorable work day in and day out running her small business and employing people from her local community in Bayview-Hunters Point, San Francisco. It's not every day, however, that she gets recognized for her work by an A-list celebrity like LeBron James.
On Tuesday, King James commended Jones for her hard work and dedication on his Facebook page, which has 23 million followers.
HUGE s/o to CLE Hustles #PitchLeBron winner Yolanda Jones & YCAT Control!! Loved watching the video. Keep going Yolanda, keep changing lives… your passion is inspiring. #YoHustles #GameRecognizeGame #StriveForGreatnessPosted by LeBron James on Tuesday, August 23, 2016
He also sent out a tweet congratulating Yolanda from his Twitter account, which has 32 million followers.
Jones won the social media endorsement through James' recent contest, the #PitchLeBronContest, in which small-business owners submitted 23-second videos making their case for why they deserve a social media shout out.
The contest was a promotional lead up to the debut of the new CNBC prime-time show "Cleveland Hustles," which is executive produced by James and premieres on Wednesday. The eight-episode series will feature local Ohio entrepreneurs who compete to win the support of a team of investors as they open up a storefront in an underserved neighborhood in Cleveland.
In the video that Jones submitted on Instagram for the contest, she says that the jobs she is providing to local members of the community keep them off the streets.
Jones is the owner of Yolanda's Construction Administration & Traffic Control (YCAT-C), which provides flagging and signage services to large construction projects.
Jones started the business in January 2010. About three months earlier, she says one of her sons was in the back seat of a stolen car and was shot and killed by the local police.
So when she heard President Barack Obama talking about how he was going to invest a significant amount of money into infrastructure projects run by minority, women-owned businesses, she decided right then and there to go get her business license. Jones wanted to provide opportunities to members of her drug and crime ridden community.
"As a black woman coming from a poverty area in San Francisco that is being changed, I am staying here and I am helping my community to rise up to be better. And we can do it," Jones tells CNBC.
Today, Jones says she has 14 full-time employees and annual revenue of $3 million. She hires additional contract employees when she secures jobs. Very consciously, Jones only hires from her local community.
"LeBron helped me by just giving me a shout out," says Jones. "He is famous for playing ball. And what I want to be known for is helping to save a life, helping feed a family, helping put a job opportunity in front of someone so they don't have to go in the store and steal anymore. They can walk in and use their debit card. That's huge. ... That's a sign of progress."
And while the support from LeBron has encouraged her, Jones says it certainly isn't the end of her hard work.
"Life is a hustle," she says. "You have got to get up every day and hustle your business. You have to go to sleep and dream about getting up in the morning and hustling your business. If you don't hustle, you won't get nothing."