SMART Girls Luncheon

Keynote Speaker 
Regina Joseph

About Our Speaker

Raised in Benton Harbor, Michigan, Regina Joseph attended Morton Hill and Sorter elementary during her early school years. She graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1977, and jumped right into her college career. She earned an Associate’s degree in 1979 from Lake Michigan College and went on to Western Michigan University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science/Criminal Justice and a Minor in Business.

Regina launched her career in Dallas, Texas, with the Dallas Police Department. After graduation from the Police Academy, she joined the force and, for the next 14 years, worked in various roles from patrol officer to homicide detective. Highlights from these years include: an appearance on an episode of Rescue 911, a promotion to Senior Corporal, and becoming the fi rst black female homicide detective of the Dallas Police Department.

In 2004, Regina transferred to the Criminal Intelligence Unit/Dignitary Protection Squad.
During her tenure with the squad, she assisted with the protection details of local officials, Civil Rights Leaders/Activists and their families, Foreign Diplomats, Heads of State, State Representatives, Cabinet Members, and U.S. Presidents.

Regina’s hard work and dedication to law enforcement earned her the honor of becoming the first female detective permanently assigned to the City of Dallas Mayor’s detail, and she was the lead detective for the 2014 U.S. Conference of Mayors. In almost three decades as a police officer, Regina has received 61 awards and commendations; she has taught at the Dallas Police Academy; and regularly finds time to give back to her community through event organization and volunteering.

About Our SMART Girl of the Year

Nishae S. is 11-years-old and a sixth grader at the Arts & Communications Academy in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Born and raised in Benton Harbor, Nishae has been a member of the Clubs for three years. She joined to be with her friends and make new ones. Nishae used to struggle with math, but she says the Club’s Project Learn academic success programs helped her get caught up and now math is her favorite subject. One day, Nishae hopes to become a teacher herself, so she can help young people learn. Her favorite activity was when she received her SMART Girls name, Ms. Confident. Most of all, Nishae was able to grow personally from the lessons she learned in the SMART Girls program. “I want to leave everyone with a smile on their face,” says Nishae. “But, I also want people to see that I am different – unique. If there was a world where we were all the same, I would do my best to break that because it is our differences that make us who we are.” 

2017 SMART Girl of the Year
Nishae S.

The SMART Girls program offers young women—ages 9 to 18—guidance toward healthy living and good decision making. Through dynamic sessions, group activities, field trips and mentoring opportunities with women leaders, Club girls enjoy the opportunity to build skills for eating right, staying physically fit, getting good health care, developing positive relationships and so much more.

SMART Girls Rise Above 
Event Committee

from left: Lee Passaro, Keynote Speaker Regina Joseph, Marcia Fettig, Terrie Bollman
Share by: