Yani Smith, Strategic Initiatives

Strategic Initiatives Manager

Yani grew up in Long Island, New York as a first-generation American in her family and community. Growing up, Yani found her affection for service as she became her community’s translation resource to help separated families with emergency citizen petitions and translating at community meetings. Before joining Darkness to Light in 2019, she worked for seven years helping local organizations with cross-cultural marketing, community outreach engagement, and strategic business development. Yani identified her passion for youth-serving organizations while she cultivated numerous partnerships with nonprofit organizations for businesses. She has developed and launched scholarship programs, child safety prevention campaigns, employee community funds, and volunteer engagement programs. Yani studied Business Development at the College of Charleston and is accredited with the Project Management Institute.

What did you want to be when you were little? A psychologist.

What is the best vacation that you’ve ever been on? I love travel and adventure, so it is hard to pick just one. I would have to say that backpacking in Thailand and a road trip on the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland, are two of my most cherished travel experiences.