E.D.U.C.A.T.E. NOW! Foundation (Empowering Diverse, Unique Children And Teens to Excel) has been enriching the education experience for students and equipping parents with tools to develop young leaders for over 5 years. Our mission is to provide online content to promote parent engagement and home learning, increase financial literacy, and support higher education through scholarship awards for low income seniors.
Chairman of the Board
Leonard T. Smith is a retired/disabled military veteran with 22 years of service. He is a licensed real estate agent and well known advocate for small business development. His passion for children and shaping future generations shows through his continued volunteer work, which includes serving as Cub Scout leader, board member of several organizations and being named the Big Brother of the Year for the state of Arkansas. In his spare time, he is a streetball legend in the city of Hazen known to dunk on any challenger that steps on the court.
Martina Echols Smith is currently an Attorney for the Arkansas Department of Human Services. She previously served 8 years as an Administrative Hearing Official for the Tennessee Department of Human Services. Mrs. Smith has legal experience in several areas including: Medicaid, Child Support, Child Welfare, Employee Grievances, Vocational Rehabilitation, and other governmental programs.
Christopher Davis, D.E. works as the Director of Data Strategy with Uplift Education, focused on providing data driven analytics to a transformative, customized education experience in each classroom. Dr. Davis earned his degrees from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, culminating with a Doctor of Engineering degree in Engineering Management. Dr. Davis previously served as a Big Brother Big Sister mentor and an adjunct faculty member at El Centro College in the Mathematics department.
Executive Director & CEO
A proud graduate of Ouachita Baptist University, Gireta received her BS in Education and a Masters in Reading. After teaching for over 31 years at each level of education, she is committed to ensuring that children are prepared to achieve success at the collegiate level. Serving as Executive Director of E.D.U.C.A.T.E. allows her to work with students one on one through tutoring, parent education and self-esteem building to know that each person is “Unique”.
Chief Operating Officer
Despite her background in audit and accounting, Loretta’s true passion is volunteerism & philanthropy. She has served on the Leadership Council for United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, President of the Parent/Teacher organization at Fellowship Christian Academy and Secretary/Treasurer for the Keep DeSoto Beautiful Corporation Board of Directors. As a mother of two, she understands the critical impact that early childhood engagement and education has on each young person’s trajectory.