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Sandra Smith Peer Programs Manager, Via Hope

Dr. Sandra Smith

Dr. Smith is the Peer Programs Manager for the Mental Health Resource of Texas dba Via Hope. She previously served as the Associate Director of a Recovery Community Center in Dallas Texas. She has vast experience in higher education administration and secondary education with an unwavering commitment to the highest educational standards in order to support and encourage today’s youth and adults. Dr. Smith has served as a university professor, campus dean and regional dean. She is a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Intern, a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist, and most recently became a SAMHSA GAINS Center Trainer for “How Being Trauma-Informed Improves the Criminal Justice System Responses.”

Dr. Smith is a published author of her true life story “Choices.” Her book chronicles time in the “World’s Boldest”, the notorious Rikers Island in New York along with every female prison in the state. It is a story of consequences and redemption. She is a Reentry Advocate based on her own lived experience with incarceration. Dr. Smith recently completed the development and co-authored the first Reentry Peer Specialist certification training in the state of Texas fueled by her passion to effect change in a broken system.

Dr. Smith holds a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and a Ph.D. in Human Services from Capella University. Her dissertation on support services was chosen for republication by Scholars Press (international dissertation clearing house) due to its relevance in societal need for support services. In her spare time she travels the country to various jails and prisons sharing her story.

Book Review: “What an incredible journey! The first book I’ve read from cover to cover in one extraordinary setting. It takes us to places that explore all aspects of the human experience (physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually). Once you read it, make sure you buy it for all those that are near and dear to you. God is good.” Charlie, Delaware