3479 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19104
Call Us 267.225.8356
3479 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19104
267.225.8356 info@centennialparkside.org

DaShaun Smith



DaShaun Smith

Youth Programs Coordinator

I was born and raised in West Philadelphia. My family roots from King and Queen county, Virginia, but my great-grandmother and great-grandfather on my mom’s side of the family moved the entire family to East Parkside during the Great Migration in the 50s. Ever since then, my family has lived in and near East Parkside. However, I migrated between East Parkside and its border neighborhood Mantua, where I lived at the time to go to school at what was once Leidy School. Attending and graduating from Leidy was a family tradition. It was where my mom, aunt, and cousins all graduated from. However, that tradition was broken when it closed in 2013.

I then proceeded to graduate from Martha Washington Academic Plus School about a mile down the street in 2017, and was awarded my certificate of completing elementary school with both Martha Washington and Leidy on it. I currently attend Science Leadership Academy at Beeber and will be graduating in 2021. I plan to go to college in the fall of 2021 studying either marketing, business management, education, or law. I hope to attend George Mason University, Temple University, or Drexel University, as they are my top choices but I have my eye on several others.

As a person, I am a bit reserved. I keep to myself and mind my business, but there is more to me than the eye can see. I have plenty of layers just like many other people, but it typically takes much longer to see mine compared to the average person. Why? I’m not sure, but it is who I am. Once you get to know me, you will see all of the little things I do without realizing and see how passionate I can be when I am given something to do. I guess you could say I am sort of mysterious. But my passions include art and design.

My time here at the CDC has been short, but not unwelcomed. I started here in January of 2020 as an unpaid intern for school, but have stayed and became Youth Council Vice President. Through the CDC, I have learned a lot about my community, whether the history of it or the people within it, I have learned what makes the community great. It isn’t about the Please Touch Museum or the Philadelphia Zoo, but the soul of it. This community is filled with people who deeply care for one another and act as a community should. They look out for each other and take pride in where they live.

I remember when I was younger and I would play with the kids from my block. We would race each other with our bikes and play football, kickball, hide and seek, man hunt, or tag. We would stay out all night only caring about how much fun we were having. Unfortunately, that sense of feeling is gone. Kids can’t play outside anymore without the fear of being shot and parents are scared of letting their sons and daughters out of the house because they run a risk of them not coming back home. It’s a scary and dark time we are facing and it’s only getting worse by the day. It wasn’t a long time ago when I was a young kid playing on the streets with my friends and having a good time and I want every child to have that same experience. That is why I joined the CDC, to make a good change and positive impact on our community and city.