(photo credit: Juan Anthony)
Donnie Nicole Smith started her professional career over 10 years ago as a teacher in the Chicago Public School System. She received the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) Beat the Odds Award in 2002. Donnie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education with a concentration in English from DePaul University in 2006.
Currently, Donnie is the Executive Director of Donda’s House Inc., a nonprofit organization she co-founded with Kanye West and her husband, Che “Rhymefest” Smith. Donda’s House provides free access to the arts for youth. The innovative promise of Donda’s House is its delivery of elite career-training and industry insights to Chicago’s extraordinarily talented but often marginalized young people. In only two short years, Donda’s House has transformed the lives of over 200 of Chicago’s most talented youth, inspiring many to finish their educations, tirelessly work for a career in the creative industries, and embrace a network of ambitious & like-minded artists who provide peer-support.
Donda’s House was featured in a Facebook Documentary with over 1.2 million views, shared personally by Mark Zuckerberg. In July of 2014, Donnie was awarded the 2014 Open Society Foundation Black Male Achievement Echoing Green Fellowship. She has been featured in numerous publications such as CNN, Jet Magazine and People Magazine. For more information visit: DondasHouseInc.org.