Recovery is Real.

Driven by a compelling mission, my vision includes a society that embraces the transformative potential within each person, actively dismantling barriers to successful re-entry in the community.

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my story

“Because of my lived experience, I know recovery is real.”

Born on a farm in Alabama, I grew up with a determination to excel in everything I did.  At an early age, I lost my mother, and that set in motion a series of self-imposed events that would leave me incarcerated later on in life.

Overcoming those obstacles, I earned a Ph.D. and embarked on a successful career in higher education administration.

Today, I’m on a mission to globally educate and inspire individuals on the possibilities of recovery, both from mental health challenges and the trauma of incarceration.

I believe in:

Justice, not Judgment.

Your past mistakes don’t define you. I believe in fostering a culture that prioritizes understanding, compassion, and fair opportunities over harsh judgment.

Direction, not Discouragement.

I believe a clear sense of direction and purpose can help navigate difficulties and overcome discouragement. Resilience and perseverance are key to fighting discouragement. It’s important to maintain a clear vision and plan of the future to combat habits, uncertainty, and adversity.

Overcome through Optimism.

Mindset is everything. I believe that cultivating a positive outlook and belief in your abilities to overcome obstacles and your past will build strength and emotional intelligence.

official bio

Dr. Sandra D. Smith stands out as a truly exceptional and well-kept secret, embodying a remarkable example of “Recovery” within contemporary society. With a Ph.D. earned through dedicated research on support services, her dissertation gained recognition through dual publications with UMI and the esteemed German Scholars Press. Dr. Smith holds certifications as a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist, creator of the Certified Reentry Peer Specialist program, and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor Intern.

Her journey of non-traditional recovery is a testament to resilience, overcoming childhood thoughts of abandonment, battling process addiction, and surviving incarceration at the formidable Rikers Island in New York City. Dr. Smith’s professional experience includes roles such as Vice President, Peer Programs Manager, Associate Director of a Recovery Community Center in Dallas, TX, and esteemed positions as University Dean and Associate Regional Dean.

Dr. Sandra D. Smith is a Thrauma® Strategist and international speaker dedicated to supporting formerly incarcerated individuals as they reintegrate into the community.

Copyright © 2024 Dr. Sandra D. Smith. All Rights Reserved.

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