Be more than a bystander because every child deserves a chance to succeed.

Mekka Smith

Mekka joined MRL in the spring of 2018. She is originally from Atlanta, GA, and has been a Malden resident for six years. She started teaching in 2007 through Teach For America (TFA), where she worked with first and second grade students in Miami, Florida for five years. Mekka has been actively involved in new teacher development through working at teacher summer institutes across the country in Atlanta, Houston, Philadelphia, Tulsa, and Boston. In 2012, she joined the Teach For America-Massachusetts regional team and spent the next few years coaching teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools as well as supporting TFA alumni to find high impact, school-based roles in local district and charter schools. Mekka is currently the Chief of Staff at KIPP Massachusetts.

Mekka has consistently worked to further strategic approaches to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in education. She has led diversity sessions for education professionals at KIPP and at TFA and created a diversity and equity professional development scope and sequence for beginning teachers. She currently serves as the chair of The Collective-Massachusetts, a programming board that supports TFA alumni of color in the Commonwealth. Mekka is actively involved with Malden CORE (Community Organizing for Racial Equity). She is a graduate of Amherst College and has a Master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Outside of work, Mekka can be found catching up on podcasts and solving logic puzzles.

Malden Rising Leaders Inc. (MRL) is a non-profit corporation founded in Malden, Massachusetts in 2017. MRL’s focus is youth leadership and development through scholarship support and mentoring. Its mission is to help the Malden’s young leaders to engage, organize and advance their community’s development, by advocating on behalf of families. MRL provides a yearly scholarship to Malden High School graduating seniors to further their studies in the field of education, entrepreneurship, nonprofit, and public service.