Hawkins, TX – Jarvis Christian College is pleased to announce that motivational speaker Kemba Smith will serve as a lecturer/speaker at 6:00 pm. Thursday (Oct 20) in Meyer Auditorium. Growing up as an only child in Richmond, Virginia, Smith graduated high school and continued her education at Hampton University. What happened to Smith in her new campus environment was a nightmare.
In an attempt to “fit in,” Smith associated with the wrong crowd and became involved with a drug dealer. As a result of her association with him, Smith was sentenced to 24½ years and served 6½ years in federal prison. She regained her freedom after President Clinton granted her clemency in December 2000.
Smith shares her traumatic real-life experience in her book, “Poster Child: The Kemba Smith Story.” Featured on CNN, Nightline, Court TV, The Early Morning Show, Donahue, Judge Hatchett, and a host of other television programs, Smith’s story has also been written about in several national publications including The Washington Post, New York Times, Glamour, People, JET, Emerge, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, and Essence magazines.
Smith is a graduate of Virginia Union University and was a past recipient of a two-year Soros Justice Postgraduate Fellowship for advocates. In December 2014, she was appointed a member of the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission by Governor Terry McAuliff. She has spoken at the White House, testified before Congress and the United Nations regarding a variety of criminal justice issues including crack cocaine sentencing, mandatory drug sentencing, women and incarceration, felony disenfranchisement and re-entry.
She is a popular speaker at colleges, universities, high schools, juvenile facilities, churches and national conferences around the nation. She has received numerous awards and recognitions for her courage and determination to educate the public about the devastating consequences of current drug policies and for her commitment in serving young people.
Smith believes in sharing her story as an educational tool to prevent other youth from going down a similar path. Ultimately, Smith knows there is a lesson in each experience in life, and she has embraced her experience, learned from it and is now using that experience to teach others.
Sherry P. Shephard
Director of Public Relations
Jarvis Christian College
P.O. Box 1470
U.S. Hwy. 80 East, PR 7631
Hawkins, TX 75765
Office: (903) 730-4890 Ext. 3006