Colleen Smith

Assistant Director, Academy Development

Growing up in a family of educators, the importance of learning and having a unique skillset was engrained in me.  I attended NC State University, earned my degree, and began my career in the business industry. After one year, I decided to enter graduate school and pursue a Master’s degree in Counseling & Development, realizing I had a desire to teach, nurture, and inspire students.  I earned my graduate degree from Winthrop University and was offered a position as a high school counselor at a NAF academy.  My best moments there were building meaningful relationships with my students and helping them discover their own passions.  From the experience as an academy counselor, I witnessed firsthand the impact that a rigorous, relevant curriculum, career exploration, work-based learning, and college preparation had on our students’ lives. The NAF academy gave them the resources they needed to find, plan, and pursue their career dreams. Viewing the NAF experience through the students’ eyes inspired me daily. I am pleased to be a part of the NAF team and have the opportunity to make the difference across our network, as we prepare students for the future!