Reine Smith, a health sciences undergraduate, was born with the heart of a servant, according to her mother, Xochee Smith. Having been raised in the church, Smith said her daughter was destined to honor her faith and her community through her work.
By the time she graduated from high school, Smith had accumulated more than 1,500 hours of community service, more than half of which was devoted to volunteer work at a medical clinic. Beyond her passion for medicine, Smith said her passion for serving her community was inspired by her experiences growing up with her parents’ nonprofit organization.
The Genesis Seven project, started by her parents when she was seven years old, has evolved from volunteer opportunities based on community service to a full mentoring program. Besides spreading their faith, Smith said that herself and other volunteers often provide various types of support to teens in Silver Springs, Florida, including janitorial and clothing services as well as tutoring services.
Smith, who is entering her first year at USF, said it was only natural that she would continue to honor underprivileged communities despite the change in setting.
“I was really surrounded and involved in a lot of community service growing up, so I feel like that really contributed to who I am as a person today. I love to give and I love to serve and that has stuck with me for the rest of my life,” she said.
“Given my experiences, it only makes sense that in my future profession I would dedicate my life to serving my community and giving back.”
Smith grew up fascinated by her and her family’s routine visits to the doctor, and given that no one else in her family worked in the medical field, she said she knew from an early age that she wanted to be a doctor.
Her priority upon entering college, in addition to studying medicine, was to combine her expertise on the Genesis Seven project with her volunteer work in the medical field. In the hopes of participating in more organizations and activities on campus, Smith said she researched various clubs before stumbling upon the Black Women in Medicine club, which would eventually become the perfect opportunity to honor her former volunteering.
Finding an outlet dedicated to volunteer work and her interest in obstetrics was something Smith said she wanted to do long before college, but initially she didn’t expect to run for a leadership position with the Black Women in Medicine club.
However, the support of her church, friends, and family are things she said were invaluable in preparing her to accept the position. Although the responsibilities associated with her aspirations can sometimes become overwhelming, Smith said she often finds comfort in a statement her parents told her from childhood — to focus on her goals and never get distracted.
For Xochee, Smith’s commitment to serving others through medicine is not only a testament to her selfless nature, but her natural drive to succeed in whatever situation she faces.
“Her accomplishments speak to who she is and her heart. She was in the International Baccalaureate program in high school, which is very challenging and was able to play the sport at a very high level as a basketball player and also completed over 1,500 hours of community service…which is what she’s been honored with.”
“I’ve always thought this is her, she just works so hard and to be able to make it all happen, I’ve always been in awe of her ability to focus and achieve the things that she wants to achieve.”
In her current position as director of public relations for the Black Women in Medicine club, Smith said she works alongside fellow executive board members to design flyers for club events, publish and design creative content on their social media pages, and create interactive activities for the club. Individuals.
What she hopes the larger purpose of her work will be, however, is honoring the role black women play in promoting equality in medicine, according to Smith. Given the history of racism towards black women in society in general, she said it is crucial that young black women are provided the opportunity and resources to assume positions of power.
“It’s very important to celebrate black history and black heritage, so celebrating the achievements of black people allows us, as women, to keep moving forward and become outstanding leaders in our society and also inspire others to promote equality and justice,” she said. .
“It is possible to have big goals and big dreams despite a history of oppression and racism. I feel like it’s very easy for black women to feel frustrated and unmotivated with these specific circumstances, so just stepping up, as a leader and showing other women that it’s possible is very important to me.” for me “.