Synthia Smith is a wife and mother of two daughters; she has always had a passion for working with youth. Synthia graduated from CSU Hayward and went on to pursue her California Teaching Credential at Patten College in Oakland. She then went on to teach third and fourth grade for Hayward Unified School District, where she taught at Strobridge Elementary four years. It was here where her peers began to notice she had a gift for working with youth. She had the ability to develop relationships with some of the most difficult students, to teach those who didn’t feel like they could learn. Synthia also had dreams of doing something more than just teaching. She had dreams of having a program which focused on improving the lives of girls.
It was during her time in the Master’s program that Synthia’s dream began to take form and become a reality. In 2009, just a few months prior to completing her Master’s, Synthia founded Sisters of Nia, Incorporated at PS7 Middle School in Oak Park, California. In 2010, Sisters of Nia became an official nonprofit 501c3 organization. Since its inception, the program has grown from just 12 girls to 36 girls who participate in the weekly sessions. There are also a host of other programs and activities offered by Sisters of Nia. To date, Sisters of Nia has serviced over 100 youth, both boys and girls.
B.A. Liberal Studies, Early Childhood Option, 1996
Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, Patten College, 1998
M.A. Human Services, Specialization in Counseling Studies, Capella University, 2009