Founder & CEO
Detroit Phoenix Center

Facebook: detroitphoenixcenter

My ability to overcome limits with my leadership is continuing to be unapologetic, authentic and transparent in my journey, shedding light on wins and losses. I don’t ask for permission to do the right thing. I just do it, despite perceived obstacles.
— Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith, recently dubbed a “modern day history maker” by Essence Magazine; is a champion for youth, serving not only by choice, but by nature. Her undeniable tenacity birthed the Detroit Phoenix Center, a high-impact nonprofit organization that operates the first drop in facility meeting the critical, holistic & emergent needs of homeless and vulnerable youth. Her outstanding commitment to service has garnered recognition nationally including Comcast Newsmakers and the Steve Harvey Show.

In 2018, Courtney was named to Crain’s Detroit “Twenty in Their 20s” list. She is a recipient of the Detroit City Council’s Spirit of Detroit Award, Alice H. Parker Innovation Award, and the 2018 Community Champion of the Year by the Michigan Coalition Against Homelessness. Courtney sits on the Board of Directors for Schoolhouse Connections and is a Senior Youth Advisor for the National Network for Youth. Courtney is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University.

Outside of being a dynamic civil servant, Courtney enjoys spending quality time with loved ones.

How Courtney Gives Back:

  • Board of Directors - Schoolhouse Connections

  • Senior Youth Advisor - National Network for Youth.

  • Youth Action Board, Advisor & Member - Detroit Task Force on Homelessness

Courtney’s Blue Sky Goal:

My hope is that the work we do at Detroit Phoenix Center serves as a model that other communities can use to tackle social ills and that my personal commitment to social justice inspires others to do the slow and humble work.