Seek Q & A with Serenity J. Smith
What lead you to Education?
In June of 2014, I was a recipient of the prestigious Congressional Black Caucus Foundation internship on Capitol Hill while working for both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate under the Obama Administration in Washington, D.C. During my time on Capitol Hill, I had plentiful and privileged opportunities to attend many networking events of prominent business/political leaders, meetings with constituents from around the world, and attending hearing sessions that exposed me to so much knowledge and tools.
My primary focus was Education and Mental Health legislation, policy, and laws that directly impacted underrepresented communities within the U.S. and International borders. Upon my return from Capitol Hill I worked at Alcoa as a political analyst and executive assistant for the CEO. During my time in corporate America I was eager for something new, exciting, and that would challenge me to continuously enhance my skills. A friend of mine told me about the NYC Teaching Fellows Program. I thought "why not?" not realizing this career would accelerate my love for education and travel.
How did you get into traveling?
Studying abroad in Manchester, England was the foundation of my love and discovery for travel. While working in corporate America I made use of my time always looking into flight deals, especially when arranging flights, visa applications, and meetings for the executives.
After a year on the job and being laid off, I remember feeling like I had all the permission in the world to explore life. During this time I experienced so much professionalism, politics, code switching, and I was FREE at last. My best friend and I set off to Colombia, Spain, and Morocco. The rest became what is today, travel is my refuge to self discovery, boost of confidence, risk-taking, and a platform to make an impact globally.
What is your educational background?
I graduated from SUNY Buffalo State College with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science & International Relations with a focus in African American Studies. In 2017, I was selected for the New York Teaching Fellows program graduating with a Masters of Science in Adolescents and Students with Disabilities Grade 7-12 from Long Island University specializing in curriculum design, pedagogy of education, culturally responsive classroom, and special education. I have experiences working with NY Common Core and The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme taught in Brooklyn, NY and Atlanta, Georgia.
What’s one of your biggest accomplishments in travel?
I would say traveling to 25 countries by the age of 25 "not planned" is one of my biggest accomplishments only GOD can take credit for. Most importantly creating curated experiences for most of my friends and family. I have experienced a new country or state with some of my closest friends and family through my knowledge and skills within the travel industry. (Japan, Paris, Colorado, Morocco, Colombia, and Spain) to name a few.