Alex Smith Honored for Work with Foster Youth

Video courtesy of the Alex Smith Foundation and The Player's Tribune. 

For years, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and his wife Elizabeth have been dedicated to helping foster care youth achieve their academic dreams. Together, they have been a life-changing partner for many young people in our YES (Youth Educational Success) Program

Each year, Alex and Elizabeth spend time with youth in our YES program mentoring, hosting graduation and holiday events, and providing encouragement. The Smiths recognize that the history of youth aging out of foster care need a flexible, resilient and personalized path to post-secondary education. They provide inspiration to young people who have often felt forgotten or dismissed. Alex and Elizabeth have also been public advocates for youth aging out of foster care. They have helped bring awareness through collaborations with Minsky’s Pizza, which also raised over $20,000 to directly support our YES students.

"When I was 18 heading to college, I had the support of family, coaches and a scholarship. I can’t imagine how we can expect foster teens to be successful when we say to them, ‘You are now 18 and we are cutting you off — so go out and make it on your own.'" —Alex Smith

Currently, only 3-4 percent of youth nationwide who age out of foster care earn a 4-year degree. Thanks to Alex and Elizabeth Smith, more youth in our care have the opportunity to pursue their dream jobs by achieving their academic goals.

This is just one of many reasons why we are honored to be recognizing Alex and Elizabeth Smith at our 36th Annual Spirit Awards in Kansa City on April 22. The Spirit Awards honors those who embody the philanthropic spirit of Kansas City and are part of what truly makes Kansas City great through their kindness and generosity to children, families and communities.