Local mom shows other parents how to navigate the college prep process

Local mom Jowan Smith has been helping families navigate the college prep process for the last two years. She went through the process with her daughter and saw a need for families to be more informed about the process. She has assited over 300 students that were not on track to pursue post secondary education. She does these workshops in four different school districts but twice a year she goes into the community to reach more families. Topics will be academics, college visits, finding scholarships, and understanding the award letter. On September 7, 2019 she will be at Memorial-Nottingham Library for noon to three facilitating a FREE workshop to families. Registration for this event can be done on the Getting Our Babies to College 101 website www.gobtc101.com.

Jowan also created an event called 1,000 Ties that is for young men ages 6-21 to teach them skills she felt were getting lost. Some of these skills are handshaking, eye contact, and tying a neck tie. To make this event a sucess she puts tie donation boxes in businesses around the city. There is a donation box at Memorial-Nottingham library where the community can donate new or gently used ties.

Jowan Smith

Jowan Smith is the Founder of Getting Our Babies to College 101, the creator of 1,000 Ties, & a Motivational Speaker. Raised in Cleveland and a graduate of John Hay High School it was only natural for her to stay and have a long career in the entertainment industry.  She used her amazing natural talent in event planning and marketing to work for Raycom Media Cleveland (Channels 19 & 43) & Chancellor Media (93.1FM & 92.3FM). She worked in many roles; Promotions, Sales, On Air Talent, & Voice Over Professional. Jowan went to college and obtained a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing. This led her to a great career with the Cuyahoga County Department of Jobs & Family Services where she saw first-hand how the lack of post-secondary options impacts the community.

After many years in this field it was something in her personal life that led her down a different career path. While going through the college prep process with her daughter she noticed the lack of resources available to parents and decided to do something. She started Getting Our Babies to College 101 after winning the education category in the Cleveland Leadership Center Accelerate 2017. Jowan created curriculum to assist families with the post-secondary education process starting in middle school. She facilitates workshops in five local school districts and also in one prison. To date she has assisted over 250 students that were not on track to pursue post-secondary paths and many more that were.

This year Jowan created an event called 1,000 Ties for young men ages 6-21 to teach them skills that she felt were getting lost. At this event young men attended workshops on self-love, handshaking, eye contact, communication skills, and they all get a tie tying lesson. The goal is to teach them skills they will have for a life time and connect them with men from the community that can become their mentors. She has been awarded the Future History Maker 2019 Award and the NCNW Trailblazer Award 2019. 

As a mother of three Jowan is very connected to our youth and their current needs and goals. She does this work because she feels it is her purpose. It’s more than a business, it’s a movement.

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Volume 11, Issue 9, Posted 5:20 PM, 09.08.2019