Stephanie Smith – Kids Rising Into Success

by Terry Watson | January 16th, 2018
Stephanie Smith and the kids of Kids Rising Into Success (Photo by Jerry Barbry)

Stephanie Smith and the kids of Kids Rising Into Success (Photo by Jerry Barbry)

Being a mother herself is what helps Stephanie Smith to easily grasp the challenges that come with operating a childcare center. She considers herself to be strong, positive, and motivated. She also has a sincere passion for education, as well as educating others; a passion that has produced K.R.I.S. Childcare Center. K.R.I.S, Kids Rising Into Success Childcare Center is a 4 Star licensed Family Childcare Home, offering quality education and childcare, Monday through Friday. Drop-in care is offered evenings and weekends for date nights, second shift working parents, or parents taking night courses. To ensure the minds and bodies of her young students are performing at an optimum level, Smith provides nutritious meals including breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner, all of which are prepared on-site.

K.R.I.S, Kids Rising into Success Childcare Center came about while Smith was doing what comes naturally to her, parenting. “I sat at the computer in my home in the wee hours of the night, nursing my four month old son while working on a class assignment. The assignment was to create a layout of my dream childcare center, everything from inventory to creating a brochure. I had completed all the requirements of the assignment, except the name of the center. I played around with various names, Ms. Smith’s Nest, Mama Steph’s House of Learning, but nothing happened. I was deep in thought and I almost forgot my son was in my arms until he made a little “coo”. I looked at him and said, “Kris”. I held on to the brochure from the class as a reminder that K.R.I.S, Kids Rising into Success Childcare Center would open one day,” she says.

When she and her husband purchased their home in 2006, she had visions of transforming the entire house into a fully functioning center. She contemplated often and then put it aside and let life move on. After working at several childcare centers over the years, she revisited the idea again in 2015. Then life happened. Smith suffered a series of life altering setbacks that really challenged her as a person. “I suffered from ruptured intestines which caused excruciating pain and infected my entire body. I then had a lapsed lung, inches of my intestines removed, and relied on the assistance of an ileostomy bag. After having a inability to walk I also learned that I had been living with IBD (Irritable Bowel Disorder) known as Crohn’s Disease for the last 15 years. This illness set me down for the entire year at the age of 30. I was unable to care for my children and lost my job as Associate Director at a local University Childcare Center. I thought my life was over. As my family and friends stood by my side day and night, they encouraged me to not give up. My mother continued to encourage me to keep the faith. Things really changed when my husband held my hand, looked me in the eyes and reminded me of my dream, K.R.I.S Childcare Center,” she says.

Smith is an educator at heart. She earned her BS in Family and Consumer Sciences from North Carolina Central University in 2007, eight months pregnant with her daughter (second child) and oldest child (1-years-old at the time) yelling “Mommy” in the audience. In October 2009, she decided to go back to school to pursue a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. She earned her MBA with a concentration in Human Resources Management from Strayer University in December 2012. “I enjoy education, learning about the world, what surrounds me and how things evolve as time changes. As a teenager I was often left to baby-sit and care for my younger cousins. I never complained and enjoyed every moment of it, from preparing meals to teaching them new things such as cooking, arts, and crafts. I’ve always had a passion to care for children in some way,” she says.

Moving forward Smith hopes to do even more to help make the lives of her young students better. Currently she is completing a business plan for a Drop Off care center. She hopes to open the center in 2020. From there, she plans to expand to other surrounding cities and states, preferably near Historically Black Colleges and Universities. “I am inspired to educate children between the ages of birth to five years of age. This age range is so precious and powerful because it has the potential to shape and mold a child’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. Instilling knowledge at an early age paves the way for future doctors, lawyers, business leaders and maybe even the next president of the United States. Knowing I have been a part of those lives motivates me every day,” says Smith.

You can leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply