Smith is entering her junior year at George Washington University, where she studies human services and minors in American studies. She recently received a scholarship from the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
How did you hear about the scholarship?
My dad is retired from the Marine Corps, and when I was younger he would donate to the foundation every year and he always loved the cause. And then we hit some financial difficulties and had some trouble with our business, [so] he encouraged me to apply for the scholarship. So it's come full circle. They've helped me attend the school of my dreams. I definitely would not be able to attend George Washington without the scholarship.
What was it like for your father to see you get that scholarship?
He's so proud, and every time I go to a scholarship event it's so great. I leave and it's like, "Oorah! Thank you, Daddy, for serving." It's incredible to be a part of that part of his life even though he's not active duty anymore.
What are you hoping to do with your degree?
I hope to go into the nonprofit world. This summer I'm interning with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. That's an amazing opportunity to see how things work in the real world. With my human services major, you have to have a certain number of hours of volunteering or interning. They've been able to set up some very fascinating places for me to work.
Right now, my internship is in the communications department, and I'm finding that to be really interesting. There's a lot of different aspects of it. I don't think communications departments get boring very often.
One of my internships was with Safe Shores, the D.C. children's advocacy center. That was interesting working with the actual clients.
- Steve Contorno