Smith Family Believes in Providence Day
“We’re proud of the mission and purpose of Providence Day. It’s something we totally believe in.”
Taken alone, those two sentences are a really strong endorsement by current parents Andrea and Sean Smith. They are even more powerful when you realize they also apply to a variety of different scenarios in their family’s engagement with Providence Day: what made them initially consider the school, what their kids’ experience has been, and why they give.
“We wanted a place that was going to continue to foster our beliefs,” explained Andrea. The idea of developing the whole child for the betterment of the student and the community resonates with the Smiths. They saw those beliefs in action on two different occasions, completely outside the scope of school and even outside Charlotte city limits.
Both times, a teenager unknown to the family interacted with one of their young children in a positive and affirming way – helping or guiding them. When asked where these good Samaritans went to school, each responded ‘Providence Day.’ At the time, the family was not yet considering their educational options, but the impression was made. PD was a school with caring, empathetic students. “The way we saw these kids being developed to have a sense of community outreach and social responsibility was something we were really impressed with,” recalls Sean.
Both Andrea and Sean agree that Providence Day is an expansion of their own family. Social responsibility, giving back, and involvement in the community – these are all lessons that are important to them. They see those lessons reflected back in the everyday focus of the school and its faculty. The Smiths hold up Freedom School as one example of how Providence Day helps its students begin to think more broadly about the world around them, and to consider how they might take action for the benefit of others. This is how they want their children to grow into having their own philanthropic strategy.
A leadership gift to the CHARGING forward campaign was another way for the Smiths to live their beliefs. Sean and Andrea consider their five-year commitment to Providence Day as a natural illustration of what is important to them. They encourage others to do the same – to view giving through a different lens, rather than as just a mere financial transaction.
“Giving to Providence Day was easy,” explains Andrea. “We looked at this not just as a monetary gift, but rather as an extension of what we believe in and what is important to our family. Think about all the reasons your children are attending Providence Day, and we believe you will come to the same conclusion.”
Sean and Andrea Smith are the proud parents of Crane ’19, Ryan ’21 and Olivia ’23.