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Candace Smith

Project Leadership VISTA

Candace is a recent graduate of WVU, graduating this past Spring with majors in Sociology and Philosophy and minors in Psychology and Pre-Law. Candace is from Branchland, WV in Lincoln County and enjoys listening to music, playing tennis, and spending time with friends and family.

Candace served as IDN’s Summer Associate VISTA (SAV) in 2022 through the WV Promise AmeriCorps program because of her interest in working in the non-profit sector to assist the people of rural West Virginia.  During her time at IDN, Candace contributed over 100 best-practice resources to the Youth Development Resource Portal. During her tenure as IDN’s SAV. she established connections with the WV Prevention Research Center's Youth Advisory Board and Dr. Adam Starks who assisted her with constructing community needs assessment tools, an interview guide, and updating IDN’s training needs survey and training evaluation forms.  She also attended grant-writing training, facilitated focus groups, assisted with fundraising, updated IDN contact and collaborator databases, contacted over 200 people from the databases for interviews and feedback on IDN training and the Resource Portal, and completed interviews with youth-serving adults in Clay and Mercer Counties.


Candace is an advocate for drug policy reform and harm reduction and became a trainer for the WV Regrounding Our Response initiative through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP), becoming a trainer for three of the five program components: Social Determinants of Health, Medical Assisted Treatments, and Comprehensive Health Framework for People with Substance Use Disorders. Due to her valuable contributions to IDN and the perspective she brought as a recent college graduate, Candace was invited to become IDN’s first Student Member. Candace is a lifelong learner who plans to continue her education through graduate school and work in the public health field. She is currently completing the Community Education Group - CEG’s CHAMPS program that prepare participants to become community health workers.

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