Keyon Smith, Community Engagement Manager
Keyon Smith is a community engagement manager at Opportunity@Work.
Before joining Opportunity@Work, Smith spent seven years working for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) as a program officer. In that role, he helped more than 60 federally funded nonprofit organizations develop job training and placement programs aimed at unemployed and low-income fathers. Smith often cites helping one such organization design and launch a coding bootcamp, in an effort to bridge the digital divide in Chicago, as his most crowning achievement.
Due to his penchant for coming up with simple solutions to complex problems, Smith was tapped by HHS leadership to serve as an "entrepreneur in residence," where he developed and led a series of human-centered design trainings for staff members. He also founded "appy hour," a monthly training session that involved technologists teaching federal employees, nonprofit professionals, and program participants how to use popular mobile and web applications.
From 2004-2009, Smith was the director of community outreach for the Summit Area YMCA where he helped over 100 would-be first-generation college students enroll and graduate from an accredited college or university. Smith also founded Young, Aspiring Entrepreneurs—a program that matched budding teen entrepreneurs with the resources and mentorship needed to bring their small business ideas to life. Lastly, he was the creator and producer of Teen Talk, a talk show that placed the proverbial spotlight on the real-world issues confronting teens of color.
Smith earned a BA in psychology from Rutgers University and a MS in social entrepreneurship at Columbia University. A Jersey boy through and through, Smith now resides outside of Washington D.C., with his wife and son.