Youth With Faces is excited to announce the hire of Deidra Smith as Program Manager. Deidra joins the team from San Diego where she was a program specialist at the San Diego Workforce Project. Her expertise includes program execution, program coordination and program design at nonprofits serving justice-impacted youth and adults, as well as transitional-age youth (TAY).
Deidra’s previous experience includes leading programs that develop and enhance workforce skills that prepare young people for their first job or advancing in their career. She also has experience building relationships with participants and community based organizations. Deidra worked with justice-impacted youth in the community as well as those who reside in juvenile justice facilities and led art history lessons for adults facing incarceration. As Program Manager at Youth With Faces, she facilitates program strategy and execution, and teaches the Career Readiness program.
“I am excited to be a part of the Youth With Faces team because there are numerous opportunities to bring intentional programming to students facing incarceration,” Deidra said. “I look forward to building positive and meaningful relationships with participants and learning about the various resources in the Metroplex for providing wraparound services to Youth With Faces graduates.”
Deidra started full time with Youth With Faces in June and has already revamped the Career Readiness class to include more engaging activities that work for both virtual and in-person classroom settings. In addition to planning summer and fall programs, she is auditing all materials to ensure the agency is providing the most positive experience for participants. And while she enjoys the social part of her job, Deidra is a master of analytics too. She hopes to build upon the existing outcome tracking infrastructure to help report successes to funders and ensure programs are providing the best long-term experience for participants.
“As soon as we met Deidra, we knew she would be the perfect addition to our team,” said Chris Quadri, CEO. “In addition to her extremely relevant nonprofit program experience, her compassionate and encouraging approach to teaching inspires our students to engage in learning and life-building each day. She brings wonderful energy and a true passion for our mission to the program manager role.”
Deidra is a dedicated community volunteer and has given her time to Project PAINT, a nonprofit organization created to bring art programming to California’s Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility. She has also volunteered to help the elderly, teach racial equity lessons to children, and provide meals for people experiencing homelessness. Deidra hopes to get involved with other North Texas community organizations to learn about resources that can benefit Youth With Faces students as they return home to their communities.
Deidra received a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a Minor in Africana Studies from San Diego State where she was also a member of the Women’s Basketball Team. While we know that California weather had to be hard to leave, we are so grateful to have her on the team. Please help us extend a Texas-sized welcome to Deidra!