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Our Mission


The mission of Smart Start Training Academy is to SkillUp the DMV by reducing unemployment and underemployment in the District of Columbia. Our goal is to enhance the skills of D.C. residents through comprehensive training programs. By offering job-specific training and career development opportunities, we empower individuals to secure employment, advance in their current positions, and prepare for careers in emerging industries. Through our efforts, we aim to contribute to the growth and prosperity of the community.


At Smart Start Training Academy, we recognize the significant benefits that adult education programs bring to individuals, companies, and communities. Our programs aim to equip individuals with the skills needed to secure rewarding careers, while also strengthening the talent pipeline for businesses.


By providing opportunities for individuals to gain or improve their skills, we contribute to building a qualified workforce and work-ready communities. This, in turn, has a positive impact on the economy, making the DMV region an attractive place for companies to invest and thrive.


Our programs, such as Skill Up DMV, are specifically designed to help you acquire the skills necessary to succeed in today's ever-changing economy. Whether you need to earn a high school equivalency diploma, strengthen your English and Math skills, or prepare for the demands of various work environments, we have tailored programs to meet your needs.


Through our Smart Start credentials, you can showcase your acquired skills to potential employers. These credentials serve as a testament to your competence and ability to get the job done, increasing your chances of securing the job you desire.


Join us at Smart Start Training Academy and embark on a journey towards personal and professional growth. Let us help you gain the skills and credentials necessary to navigate the competitive job market and unlock a bright future filled with rewarding opportunities.

Meet Our Founder

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Shakitha Leavy

Shakitha Leavy brings a wealth of experience and expertise in workforce development leadership. With an impressive background spanning over 20 years in both public and private sectors, Shakitha has honed her skills in various areas such as management consultation, team building, professional development, and strategic implementation.


Having worked in the fields of workforce and economic development, Shakitha has effectively managed operations, teams, and conflict resolution. Her proficiency extends to grant writing and management, strategic leadership, training and development, community engagement, gang intervention, gang prevention, gang suppression, capacity building, and implementing processes to drive revenue growth and corporate success.


Shakitha's ability to establish and execute visionary business strategies, coupled with her talent for motivating employees to achieve peak performance, sets her apart as a skillful leader. She consistently exceeds corporate objectives, while fostering open and productive communication with staff and management teams.


Shakitha Leavy is known for her exceptional ability to facilitate effective communication between clients, customers, and businesses, ensuring successful project completion. Her academic achievements include holding an MPS in Strategic Leadership and a BS in Human Development from the University of Memphis. She also possesses the NASBA Ethical Leadership Certification, Project Management Professional License, and Global Justice License.


With over 22 years of operational and leadership experience in challenging, goal-oriented environments, Shakitha Leavy is a seasoned management executive. Her expertise and track record make her a valuable asset in driving growth and achieving success.

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