Katie Hart Smith

Do you have a mentor? Is there someone in your life that has had a lasting positive impact on you? Have you had the opportunity to pay it forward in what I call the “ripple effect?”

My husband, Jeff, and I attended the Georgia Gwinnett College School of Nursing pinning and candlelight ceremony last month. We have been avid supporters of the program since the department doors opened five years ago. The history of nursing display honors my grandmother, Gigi, a first-generation graduate, and registered nurse. Her story serves to inspire future generations of nurses at GGC.

Following the beautiful service, students and parents came up to Jeff and me to thank us for our support. One student shared her heartfelt gratitude to our family for our philanthropic work and that they were appreciative of our mentorship. Another student joined the conversation, adding, “I Googled you, read your web bio, and I hope to be like you one day.”



Unbeknownst to them, the past month had been filled with life’s trials and tests. In spite of the speedbumps, we were so joyful to be there for them that evening, cheerleaders amongst their fellow professors, administration, and community healthcare leaders. When her words filled our ears, the magnitude of their comments struck us to the core, and I broke down and sobbed. We weren’t prepared to receive gratitude that evening; we were there to simply give it.

I challenge you to lead by example and mentor the next generation in your profession or trade. Reach out and lift another up. Hopefully, they, too, will become a ripple, making the circle infinitely larger and larger with time. 

About Katie Hart Smith
Katie Hart Smith’s column, “From the Heart,” touches the heart, inspires, and entertains. Smith, a published author for over twenty years, believes that words, written or spoken, have power. To learn more, visit www.katiehartsmith.com.