Why I Serve: Diarra Smith

Posted by Wesley Paraham on Mar 08, 2020

March 8-14 is AmeriCorps Week 2020, and we’re celebrating each day by shining a light on one of the dedicated and hard-working AmeriCorps Service Members serving at BRIDGES! 


My name is Diarra J. Smith and I am a first-year service member with AmeriCorps this upcoming year. I am originally from Memphis, therefore, as a Memphis native, my favorite hobby is eating with a side of Memphis-style barbecue!

While home, I truly enjoy hanging out with friends and family, and swimming during these hot summer months. If it’s not yoga on the river, you can catch me at any of the local brunch spots with fellow UT alum. This upcoming year will be my first year living back in this beautifully soulful city since 2012! I spent the first four years after high school in “good ole Rocky Top” also known as The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Gender Studies. For the last three years of my time away, I attended the incredible University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. While at the U of A, I received a Master of Science in Counseling. Upon graduating with my masters I officially became a licensed professional school counselor, however, after spending time studying abroad at the U of A,  I decided to further my experience with adventure therapy and various forms of experiential learning.

This is when I decided to apply for the AmeriCorps position with Bridge Builders. Many of my friends in high school went through the Bridge Builders program during our eleventh grade year at White Station High School, and to say the least, their lives were changed for the better. I have seen many, if not all of them move on to become some of the most efficient and passionate leaders in their respective communities. I chose Bridge Builders because I wanted to be a part of the team that made all of that possible in the lives of people I hold so dearly. I am so thankful the AmericCorps and BRIDGES team have allowed me to serve alongside them this year, and I look forward to all of the connecting, collaborating, and change to come!