BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) – Dr. Camacia Smith-Ross has been helping people see their full potential for decades, but she didn’t realize right away that educating was hers.

Smith-Ross started at Southern University studying to be a dietitian. She quickly realized she had to follow in her family’s footsteps and pursue a career in teaching.

Since graduating, Smith-Ross held roles across the state working with underserved communities.

“I’ve been very fortunate to take on quite a few roles in different universities whereby there’s been a building and a growing process,” Smith-Ross tells WGNO.

From working at SUNO to rebuilding the Upward Bound program at Dillard University that was left in the ruins of Hurricane Katrina.

Her journey took her back to her alma mater as the executive director of pre-college and outreach.

Smith-Ross said her dream would be university president at Southern University. However, she is just starting out in a new role back at SUNO as chief of staff.

“I truly believe that everything is about giving it your best,” Smith-Ross said. “When I take on these assignments, that’s pretty much my focus. I want to make sure I’m giving it 110% because I want my students to give me that in return.”

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