Scholar Spotlight: Terrachel

If you’re going to fly high, start early. One exceptional NAZ scholar, Terrachel Smith, boasts a list of accomplishments anyone could be proud of, especially since she accomplished them all before 9th grade. Recently WCCO 4 news correspondent Reg Chapman interviewed Terrachel as the youngest member and co-chair of the Unity Community Mediation Team Young People’s Task Force. At its October Public Safety Forum, Terrachel had the opportunity to introduce the City of Minneapolis’ first African-American police chief Medaria Arradondo. Chief Arradondo said Terrachel is an example for all youth to follow and he’s very proud of all her hard work.

Terrachel serves as student leadership council president of her 9th-grade class that comprises 120 scholars at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, a NAZ partner school. However, this is not her first experience as a young leader. At age 3, Terrachel spoke at the National Peace and Justice Gang Summit at her church, Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist. At the age of 9, Terrachel testified before the Minneapolis Park and Recreation board commissioners to ban the use of commercial tobacco in the parks and later before the Minneapolis City Council on behalf of the Association of Non-Smokers – MN (ANSR) to pass the ordinance to ban the use of menthol in the cigarettes.

“I enjoyed myself as a NAZ scholar because they nurtured, encouraged, and taught me to believe that I could excel at anything, just like my family has always done. Because of this never-ending great support from my family, NAZ, and Mr. Mahmoud, I excelled in academics, follow my passion, and tackle challenges that come my way!”

Academics are a strong point for Terrachel as well. While at Mastery School, she was the first place winner for science and reading fairs. In sixth grade, she presented a science project on germs at the Science Museum in St. Paul for the Women in Science forum.

Today, Terrachel continues to serve and give to the community. She is the youngest member of the local and national Black Storytellers Alliance and was featured as the youth storyteller at its Annual Conference in 2021. She serves at her church through the Health and Social Justice ministry, with Big Brothers Big Sisters Leadership program, and was selected for the Faith 4 Heart member spotlight this September. NAZ and the North Minneapolis community are proud of Terrachel and her many accomplishments!