Tavis Smiley Foundation
In 1999, media personality, political commentator, author and advocate Tavis Smiley founded the organization with the mission to enlighten, encourage and empower youth by developing leadership training that will promote and enhance the quality of life for themselves, their communities and our world. The country is facing a potential crisis in leadership, as increasing numbers of young people grow disenchanted with the democratic process. The Tavis Smiley Foundation exists to address these issues by providing tools and opportunities for leadership development through active engagement in community service and civic activities to inspire new generations of social change catalysts.
Since the inception of the Youth to Leaders program more than 6,000 youth have participated in our workshops and leadership training conferences and programs. Many of these alumni have completed college, started businesses and non-profits, organized teen town hall meetings and voter registration drives. Through the Smiley Scholars program we have awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships for college students.