Natasha Smith-Walker

Natasha Smith-Walker has 20 years of experience in youth development and education. Her career has focused on supporting youth and communities having access to opportunities that will help their development. As the Executive Director of Project Exploration, she works to ensure that there is equity, access, and opportunity for girls, minority youth and communities to get high-quality science out of school programming. Also, her efforts have positioned Project Exploration to lead the development of a STEM Learning Ecosystem for Chicago including earning a National Science Foundation INCLUDES (Award Abstract #1744523) award. Her career has included classroom teaching and numerous administrative and educational roles in Chicago’s out-of-school time landscape, including the James Jordan Boys & Girls Club, Mayor Daley’s YouthNet and After School Matters. She has worked on several projects as a private consultant, including a national examination of public sectors to identify best practices of leadership. She has a BA from the University of Illinois at Chicago.