Charlotte, NC - Communities In Schools (CIS) staff on the Project L.I.F.T. Team (Leadership and Investment For Transformation) are excited to host national speaker Kemba Smith Pradia on February 28 at West Charlotte High School. Smith Pradia will speak to approximately 250 middle and high school girls who are in CIS and attend Project L.I.F.T.schools. She will be discussing such topics as self-esteem and relationships, overcoming adversities, drug abuse, and personal responsibility.
Smith Pradia has just released a memoir, Poster Child, which details her dramatic personal story of how she went from college student to drug dealer’s girlfriend, to domestic violence to federal prison inmate. She shares her story to help students recognize that there can be serious consequences to their life choices.
“We’re thrilled that Kemba is coming to Charlotte to speak to our students,” said Jessica Williams, a CIS Site Coordinator at Ashley Park PK-8 School, one of the Project L.I.F.T. schools that feed into West Charlotte High School. “They will definitely benefit from hearing the lessons that Kemba has learned through her own devastating experience.”
Williams said she has met Smith Pradia and heard her speak, and says her story really resonates with young women. “She relates well to teen-agers, especially girls, said Williams. "Her story is real, and she comes across as very authentic in her delivery. Most important, she has valuable life lessons to share with our students that they need to hear.”
The media is invited to attend. Smith Pradia will be speaking in West Charlotte High School’s auditorium at 10:00 am this Thursday.
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Communities In Schools (CIS) surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. An affiliate of the national Communities In Schools network, CIS of Charlotte-Mecklenburg serves over 7,000 students annually in 45 high-need Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools who are most at-risk for dropping out. As the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, Communities In Schools is helping build a stronger local community where every child is capable of reaching his or her greatest potential. www.cischarlotte.org
Project L.I.F.T. (Leadership and Investment For Transformation) is a philanthropic initiative composed of leaders from Charlotte’s largest community and family foundations. Project L.I.F.T. aims to accelerate the improvement of academic outcomes for children in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools West Charlotte corridor. www.projectliftcharlotte.org
Kemba Smith Pradia - Growing up in Richmond, Virginia, Kemba Smith Pradia graduated from high school and continued her education at prestigious Hampton University. What happened to Kemba in her new campus environment was a nightmare. Kemba’s traumatic real-life experiences force today’s students to recognize that there are consequences to their life choices. Kemba knows that there is a lesson in each experience in life and she has embraced her experience, learned from it, and is now using it to teach others. www.kembasmithfoundation.org