Name: Riana Smith
Occupation: Founder of Femdelacreme Mentoring Program, Graduate Student at Vanderbilt University
Background/Highlights of Your Journey: Originally from Inkster, Michigan, I was raised by strong black women. They taught me how to work hard, be confident, and see education as a pipeline to success. These lessons led me to Clark Atlanta University where I studied Business Administration, founded a women’s mentoring and empowerment program (Femdelacreme), and after started my career at a Big 4 consulting firm. Although I truly enjoyed the work I was doing, my passion for education and youth development continued to grow. This year, I decided to transition from consulting and purse a Master’s in Education Policy at Vanderbilt University.
What makes you identify with our brand? When I meet people they have assumptions about the type of background, family dynamic, and experiences I have. They assume, because of my credentials, life was handed to me on a silver platter - and boy are they wrong. Yes, who I am today is contributed to factors like where I went to college and where I’ve worked, but it also is largely because of the grit, hustle, and grind I had to have growing up in Inkster, Michigan. My community (“hood”) taught me things I could never learn in a textbook, and continues to push me to reach greater heights. This brand celebrates those who come from places like that, the places most shun out, and chooses to highlight the greatness that is birthed in these neighborhoods. This is why I identify with “HoodGeek” because no matter how far I go, I know it is both my community and my education that contributes to my success.