LOCAL STORIESNOVEMBER 8, 2022
Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathy R. Smith. Them and their team share their story with us below:
Kathy R. Smith, MSHRM is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Chandelier Transformations Youth Mentoring Inc. (C.T.Y.M) a youth mentoring nonprofit organization here in the Tampabay area with a mission to bring together school-aged girls in the Tampa Bay Area to create a strong sisterhood that empowers, motivates and uplifts them while teaching them to make a powerful impact in a global economy.
Kathy is also the “Transformation Strategist”, Founder and CEO of Chandelier Transformations Coaching, Speaking and Writing), Motivational Coach and Speaker of the John Maxwell Team and International Association of Women as well as a 4x Amazing Best-Selling published author. She has appeared on Lens of Faith Speaks and the On the Cruz broadcast as well as several radio interviews.
Kathy is a disabled Army Veteran who has served over 17+ years in United States Army. While serving in the Army, she rose through the ranks as an Administrative Specialist to Human Resource Manager and obtained certification to be the voice for the voiceless as a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate and Equal Opportunity Leader. Military award recipient of the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal x 2, Good Conduct Medal x2, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal x6, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal x2, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with Meritorious Service, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon x2, Certificate of Appreciation x 4, Army Service Ribbon, Army Overseas Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Ribbon x2 and numerous plaques and coins of excellence for dedicated service to the United States Army and Army Reserve.
Kathy is also the wife of Retired Command Sergeant Major Anthony Smith, mother of a blended family of 8 children (3 being her own biological children), and a survivor of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
Kathy R. Smith has a passion to help women that have suffered abuse, trauma, hostile work environment, professional and emotional burn-out, low self-esteem, and a myriad of other issues that plague women that have served in the Armed Forces and professional women overcome physical, mental and emotional barriers to transform that hurt and pain into lives filled with prosperity and abundance. She strives to instill excellence in young minority females by mentoring them on leadership, self-esteem, healthy relationships and boundaries, and educational and Christian values to become pillars of success in their communities.
Kathy holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Cum Laude) and a Master of Science in Human Resource Management. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Kathy is the lead author of, “Unleashing the Roar” to be released in January 2020, and a co-author of her first anthology “We Are Women of Substance” 2017, One D.A.E at A Time 2019, and Drop The Mask, Share The Crown 2020.
She enjoys meditating and studying holistic medicine and natural health remedies as well as spending time with her family and friends. She loves seafood and her favorite verse is Jeremiah 29;11 “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Kathy considers herself to be a Tampa native as she moved here with her mother and grandmother at the age of 5, although she is still deeply rooted in the country upbringing of Ocala, FL where to spent the other half of her time with her grandparents and her father’s side of the family.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road? I wish that I could say that it has, however, what I will say is that each obstacle has made me who I am today.
Obstacles make us stronger by building perseverance and endurance when you can’t see the way. I, like most, have faced many challenges along this road of life from career changes, health crises, death of loved ones and mentors, children misbehaving, and raising a child with autism are just a few personal challenges.
In business, starting out was scary. I asked myself questions like “Why me”, “Why now”, and “Will they listen”.
Where will the clients come from? In my nonprofit, I donate a lot of my personal funds which take away from my family, my children, or those added pleasures in life to ensure that those in need have every advantage that they could possibly have regardless of where they come from or any socio-economic limitations.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Chandelier Transformations Youth Mentoring? We mentor middle and high schools from low-income areas throughout Tampa Bay on Leadership, Self Identity, Self Esteem, Suicide and Violence Prevention, Pregnancy Prevention, Entrepreneurship and so much more. We partner with other organizations in the community like Career Source and Hillsborough County Public Schools and Metropolitan Ministries. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the light in a child’s eyes when they know that they are loved and valued but not forgetting what it feels like to feel heard and understood.
Our mentoring program creates that safe space for our youth and also empowers them to be successful in life through our programs and the partnership that they build with one another. With our Coaching program for adults, Chandelier Transformations we look forward to servicing the entire family element in the future.
What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years? In the next 5-10 years, I see Chandelier Transformations Youth Mentoring being at the forefront of student engagement in Hillsborough County offering a School of Business, Public Speaking, and The Arts. I foresee our former students graduating and going to college, starting careers, and serving as mentors themselves.
I see our Coaching under Chandelier Transformations empowering women to live healthy, fully engaged, and empowered lives that are purposeful and full of prosperity. We will stay true to values and grow and adapt our footprint digitally and brick and mortar.