Jacquita Smith

Nonprofit director and education consultant in Chicago, Illinois

My friends, colleagues, and job titles typically describe me as a: nonprofit program administrator, youth advocate, academic counselor, "practical encourager," and "a smither of words with a fierce command of the English language".

While I am rather partial to that last description, I generally think of myself as a professional volunteer. My birthday parties are usually just excuses to host community service projects. I am a soccer mom without the stereotypical minivan, extreme couponing binder...or any kids of my own. If there's a nonprofit program to be developed, an at-risk youth to be mentored, or an urban social issue to be championed, you'll probably find me nearby--I'm the one wearing the thinking cap and the work boots.

As a youth development director and nonprofit consultant, I design and manage programs which help organizations and individuals strategically address educational and social issues affecting underserved youth in urban communities. I specialize in organizational capacity-building and program design, but I also offer skills in marketing communications and grantwriting. Not a bad gig for someone who would, literally, do the same job for free.

When I'm not volunteering (or getting paid) to change the world, you can probably find me: putting my geography degree to good use while roadtripping across the country, watching my beloved Crimson Tide roll to another championship, or striving to make my real life match the fashionably-attired, recipe-mastering, bucket list-achieving persona that I've painstakingly crafted on my Pinterest boards.