Always smiling, Jamie Smith is a beacon of positivity. Jamie believes everyone deserves to have someone on their side who listens and supports them, which is why she is constantly striving to be a source of light. A people person and an exceptional communicator, she excels at making sure children and parents feel comfortable and are getting the resources, referrals and assistance they need.
Jamie received her bachelor’s in psychology from Menlo College in the San Francisco Bay Area and her master’s in social work from Pacific University in Eugene. In graduate school, she worked for the Department of Human Services, helping children in the foster care system. She also gained experience at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend, coordinating follow-up care and services for patients in the neurology and intensive care units of the hospital. Following graduate school, she provided extra support for students at Howard Elementary in Eugene through her work as an educational assistant. These experiences, coupled with her education, have taught her how to best support families when they are experiencing challenges.
When she was 6 and her older sister, Melissa, was diagnosed with leukemia at age 11, Jamie spent a considerable amount of time with a case worker, which inspired her career path. Being a sister of a cancer survivor is why Jamie volunteers at Camp Reach for the Sky, a one-week summer camp in Southern California for kids with siblings who are cancer patients and survivors. As a camp counselor for teenage girls, Jamie spends the week supporting the campers and facilitating activities. The goal is to ensure that campers feel special and loved, as the attention at home is often on their sibling’s health. For the past ten years, Jamie has also volunteered for KindTree Autism Rocks camp in Eugene, along with her sister who is now a special education teacher. Jamie organizes activities for the whole camp, including the talent show, games and campfires.
When Jamie moved to Eugene four years ago, her sister was waiting for her at the airport with exciting news—her sister was pregnant! Believing that everything happens for a reason, Jamie knew in that moment that moving here to be with her sister—her best friend—was meant to be. Melissa is Jamie’s No. 1 fan and biggest cheerleader—the two are inseparable—having been through a lot together, including Melissa’s cancer and the sudden death of their father when Jamie was 18.
Sunglasses always on, even when it’s cloudy, Jamie’s Southern California upbringing only adds to her sunny disposition. A sports fan, Jamie roots for the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Chargers. She enjoys being outside and making trips to the beach to soak up the sun. Jamie also regularly visits her mom, who still lives in the San Diego area.
Jamie doesn’t love flying but doesn’t mind jumping out of planes. When she went skydiving the worst part, she says, was the flight and not the fall itself. Despite her fear, Jamie enjoys international travel, having been to Italy, Germany and Costa Rica.