One of ten children, SMILE’s Iberia Parish Manager Michael “Mike” Sorrell was reared on a small farm with hogs and chickens in the Jeanerette/Baldwin area.
Growing up, he and his siblings assisted their father who also worked for an area sugarcane farmer while their mother took care of the home.
Times may have been hard, and the family may not have had all of the things other families had, but the Sorrells never wanted for anything.
It wasn’t until Mike graduated in Business Management from Southern University, and came to work for SMILE some 40 years ago, that he realized there were families who didn’t even have the basics.
What Mike came to enjoy the most was that he could do something about it.
“That’s what really touches me — making a difference in their lives,” Mikes says.
What others may not know about Mike is that he dreamed about being an R & B singer.
But he is content today singing in the church choir, and supporting his wife Joyce, who works for the SMILE Head Start/Early Head Start Program, in her gospel-recording career.
For those who have been lucky, there has been Mike and Joyce’s popular performance as Ike and Tina Turner. Perhaps, we may see it again?
“We haven’t counted it out,” Mike replies. “We just haven’t done it in a while.”
Always active in school sports since an early age, Mike enjoys jogging and walking. A borderline diabetic, he encourages others to have a healthy conscious if they want a long, fruitful life.
Being his brother’s keeper, and putting himself in other’s shoes, keeps Mike grounded. “If they’re sitting over there,” he says, “I’m going to treat them as if they were sitting here.”