Endowed Scholarship honoring William "Bill" Smith
William ‘Bill’ Smith’s father, Reverend T.H. Smith (1882-1970) was a graduate of Simmons University in Louisville, KY and served as a pastor in Central Kentucky for 54 years including over 30 years at Shiloh Baptist Church. His mother, Helen (1887-1948), was a masterful organizer and a tireless champion for racial and social justice.
Although Mrs. Smith didn’t finish high school, she valued education to such a great extent that she later returned to school as an adult to complete her high school degree. The Smiths dedicated their lives to instilling values and their passion for education in their children, all of whom received the post secondary training necessary for them to be successful in their careers.
Bill Smith became YMCA branch director in 1956 and subsequently spent years dedicating his life to developing quality programming and improved facilities where people of all races and income levels were welcome. His vigorous efforts were crucial to growing and integrating the YMCA.
Bill Smith retired in 1991 as association general director of the YMCA of Central Kentucky. During his career, he collaboratively served with scores of committed, unsung volunteers who saw the Y as a movement to transform the lives of youth and adults as well as to infuse Christian principles through character building programs.
One of the last programs Bill Smith helped organize during his tenure at the Y was the Black Achievers program. The program provides a positive atmosphere where students of color gain college preparation and exposure to a variety of career fields. Since 1985, over $11 million in scholarships have been awarded to Black Achievers students.
The YMCA of Central Kentucky has established an endowed scholarship to honor Bill Smith and the Smith Family’s legacy of service to the Y and the Central Kentucky community. The scholarship is a testament to what the power of sheer determination can do to transform lives.
We invite you to make a gift to the Smith Family Scholarship today to support future generations of students seeking college readiness through the YMCA’s Black Achievers Program. The scholarship fund honoring William "Bill" Smith and his family will stand as a testament to the passion, dedication and hard work it takes to create a better community.
The scholarship will be awarded yearly at the Black Achievers Awards Recognition Ceremony. Please join the Y in ensuring the scholarship's enduring legacy by making a gift today!