Educator, Community Advocate & Minister
Shauna Smith is an empowering educator, child development specialist, and advocate for families, with more than 20 years of experience leading and influencing communities across the country. She currently serves as director of Family Engagement and Case Management, with expertise in child development, for the Bethlehem Center Head Start Program in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a social-education collaborator, training facilitator and subject matter expert in developmental milestones for young children, Smith has designed programs, created curricula and supervised the implementation of numerous initiatives benefitting thousands of children, teens and adults across the United States.
As a community advocate, Smith also has served families in crises by managing emergency relief funds, collaborating with homeless shelters, and helping families navigate the intricacies of various social service agencies. Moreover, her partnerships with child welfare services, local businesses and community resources have helped align institutional and individual objectives to create cross-functional synergies.
Starting her professional career as an elementary school teacher, Smith went on to become appointed to her district’s parent facilitator position, responsible for the district-wide coordination of SNAP benefits, ALL KIDS, Early Head Start, Head Start, Early Intervention, DCFS, childcare assistance, public housing, and food pantries. Her passion for empowerment also has extended to helping pre-teen girls struggling with issues of self-esteem by creating and managing a mentorship program for the Zion School District, which empowered more than 50 young women to discover and embrace their unique talents and identities.
Smith also has chaired an annual Vacation Bible School that served more than 350 children and been recognized by the Illinois State Kindergarten Conference and New England’s largest church, The First Cathedral. As the developer of vacation Bible Study programs in several states, keynote speaker at cross-denominational women’s prayer events, and a leader of in-home Bible study groups for single women, she has helped transform the lives of families from the inside out. And, as a minister and vocalist, her powerful voice educates and inspires through the performing arts with messages of inspiration and songs of hope that have reached people from Sunday morning congregations to minimum security prisons across the country.
With master’s-level studies in educational administration and a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education, Shauna recently received Early Intervention Specialist certification from the University of Connecticut. She is inspired daily by her faith, her husband, their three children and the prospect of exploring additional avenues to empower, educate and encourage families across the world.