Kayla Smith, 26

Executive Director
Hazel Park Promise Zone Authority

Kayla Smith

Kayla is the Executive Director of the Hazel Park Promise Zone Authority, a place-based scholarship program and college access organization serving Hazel Park students. In her time in Hazel Park, Kayla has secured more than $400,000 in grant funding to support scholarships and programming, created a summer youth internship program, secured a skilled trades education partnership with UAW Chrysler, and developed a portfolio of other strategic partnerships which have made various pre-college programs available for students.


Kayla holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Relations and Policy from Michigan State University and a Master of Social Work degree in Social Policy and Evaluation and Community and Social Systems from the University of Michigan, where she was a Community-Based Initiative Scholar and Global Study Scholar.


As Vice Chair of the Michigan Junior League’s State Public Affairs Committee, Kayla works with organizations throughout the state to advocate on behalf of children and youth who have experienced foster care, as well as people who have been victims of human trafficking. She also co-chairs the Detroit chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and holds leadership roles in Detroit Young Professionals, New Paradigm College Prep Board of Education, the Community Choice Credit Union Foundation Board of Trustees, and the National Association of Social Workers-Michigan. Kayla has also completed Leadership Oakland (LO25), the Michigan Political Leadership Program, and the Council of Michigan Foundations Mentoring Program and was honored in 2016 as one of Crain’s Detroit Business’ “20 in their 20s”.

The information presented here was accurate as of January 1, 2017.