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Meet Devan Smith of Outlet in Marietta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Devan Smith.

Devan, before we jump into specific questions about the organization, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Throughout the majority of my life, I have gone through different challenges one of the major ones was foster care. Growing up in foster care after being separated from some of my brother and birth mothers caused a lot of pain. A pain that I knew not to express positively. Maybe that stemmed from the six foster homes I lived in and group homes and different schools constantly transferred from, or the lack of understanding of a fully functioning family. I did find a way to express myself through acting sports and Poetry those were my forms of outlets and I strived you make sure everyone else found theirs as well my goal is to one day be able to provide everyone with a way to express their hearts and pains rather it’s sports culinary poetry acting and or many other ways one can be individually inclined to express themselves. My program started as a personal project and eventually lead to becoming much more and I hope once the finances and the other aspects continue to fall through that I may be able to push it to a larger level.

I was however selected to be a Disney Dreamers from the Disney Dreamers Academy in 2019 being 1 of 100 students selected and that is where I networked with many people with one who is my current mentor Dr. Alex Ellis who has continued to cultivate me and push me forward in moments when I’m down. I also have met fellow Dreamer Sean Hanford and Benjamin Raymond who have helped me along the way as well giving me opportunities to network with larger organizations, especially Steve Harvey’s Foundation.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Going through foster was one of the biggest things that have challenged me as far as social identity and having being adopted complicated the journey as far as self identity and the pain of not seeing my brothers and not knowing about my father and halls of my family. Movement between homes also complicated my education and curriculum changes. Although I challenged myself with the hardest classes possible the stress of all of those combined and the wonders and unanswered personal questions I had were and at times. Still hard to deal with but when faced with obstacles in my path I choose to use it as a stepping stool rather than a road block.

My relationship with God has helped me very much and especially in my college journey which started well but due to lack of financial resources I had to be removed from courses until later in my life’s journey, everything happens for a reason rather I understand or not, but I am aware things happen for me and not to me.

Please tell us about the organization.
It is quite small and in the developmental stages still looking for its funding as of now I on behalf of the organization pair with other organizations and local community events to help those in need. I am proud to help anyone in need rather it’s mentorship or any other way possible.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If I could start over I would not do anything differently it made me the person who I am today.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Steve Harvey
Lori Hanford
Sean Hanford
Devan Smith
Honnor Seaton
Frank Hallum
Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting

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