Child of Fortune

When life drips with hardship like hot coffee from a cracked mug and when it seems like helping someone else would only add pressurized steam to what is already about to break, the Smiths, who have suffered homelessness off-and-on for five years in the 80s, seem rather springy, stretchy and super resilient. Talk to either one of the couple, married 36 years, and it becomes obvious that hardships have made them both wiser and more equipped than ever to help someone else in need. Independent Marriage and Family Therapist John J. Smith and his wife Jeanette Smith-Perrone, who is a professor and technology evangelist at Tacoma Community College (TCC), have taken the education they learned from the school of hard knocks to birth a non-profit business that they named Child of Fortune. Born in January of this year, Child of Fortune (childoffortune.org) helps at-risk college students who are on the verge of dropping out of school due to unmet survival needs. Child of Fortune offers help and support for staying in college, regardless of past issues or current poverty. "When John and I were homeless," Jeanette said, "we didn't have any guidance so we stayed homeless a lot longer than the people we give counsel to today.” “Now, we create friendships and relationships with community resources and charities so when a student goes down to apply for assistance, they go down on our referral. They're not cold-calling," John said. "We also help connect them to other student resources that are paid for by outside sources within Pierce County." According to Jeannette, TCC has many resources to help students stay in school. ...read more

by Tacoma Weekly Jul. 20, 2017 at 1:00am