Tokiwa Smith is a chemical engineer. She is also founder of Science, Education, and Mathematics Link. a non-profit organization that promotes student achievement and career exploration for K–12 students.
Like Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space, who is also a chemical engineer, Tokiwa is dedicated advocate for science and engineering education.
Over the years, Tokiwa has worked for educational organizations such as the Atlanta Public Schools, California State University at East Bay, Georgia State University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Spelman College.
In 2005 she began her journey as a social entrepreneur by founding Science, Engineering and Mathematics Link.
SEM Link focuses on outreach activities in the classroom, out-of-school programs, and in the community. The organization also hosts the annual Experimental Design Program and Math and Science Career Academy, which provide opportunities to engage in hands-on STEM activities and explore opportunities in STEM careers.
Five years after founding SEM Link, Tokiwa started Kemet Educational Services, a math and science consulting firm that supports community educational programs, parent groups, and schools.
This February, Tokiwa won the Black Engineer of the Year Award for Educational Leadership and K-12 Promotion of Education. Each year, the award goes to someone who demonstrates a commitment to enhancing opportunities for minorities through promotion of scientific and technical education programs.
But it’s not all work and no play for the engineer.
When it comes to taking some time out, Tokiwa is like another winner of the Black Engineer of the Year Promotion of Education Award.
Pamela McCauley Bell, an entrepreneur, educator, and author of “Winners Don’t Quit Kit” once said its important to strike a balance between work and relaxation.
“I’m a huge sports fan” Tokiwa says. “Football is my favorite sport and basketball is my second favorite sport.” She also has “affinity for food trucks and small restaurants.”