Leader of YWCA in Troy says tough path in life helped pave the way

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As the executive director of the Troy YWCA, Starletta Smith can be seen hanging out with influential women – including Gov. Kathy Hochul. However, her life growing up in Troy would not have foretold that she would one day have the fight, the access and influence she does today.

Her family certainly was not wealthy as she grew up, but she says she was surrounded by people who loved her.

However, life is never a straight line, and Smith faced a number of challenges. She was a teen mom who dropped out of high school several times. She was homeless at one point, and married to a man who had an addiction.

With true grit, she overcame those obstacles and went on to earn a master’s degree.

It was while interning at the YWCA that she realized those challenges actually worked for her.

Now she leads the Troy YWCA, and her commitment to women has intensified.

Learn about how she continues to be an advocate for women now by watching the video of Elaine Houston’s story