President and Co-Founder

Mr. Kenneth Smith

VP - YouthBuild Case Manager

Mrs. Grace Smith

Associate Director YouthBuild

Ms. Markita Y. Smalls


2019 Board Members

Dr. Kelley Eaves Boykin (1st Term) 


Mr. Dominique Camm (1st Term)

ESQ, The Freedman Law Firm

Ms. Donna Johnson (2nd Term)

Director of Training, 

Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services

Mr. Billy McDowell (1st Term)

Wells Fargo Bank

Mr. Allison Preston (1st Term)


Mr. Kenneth Smith 

President/Founder Grace-Mar Services Inc

(Non Voting Member)




Mrs. Grace Smith


A passionate servant in the community, as well as a licensed and certified teacher, Grace spent more than 20 years educating youth in some of the most challenging communities in Charlotte; Cleveland, Ohio; and Toronto, Ontario. Grace has an Associate's degree in liberal arts and two Bachelor’s degrees - one in sociology and the other in education. Grace also serves as the community outreach leader for her church and sits on the church’s Board of Directors. As a former Division I athlete, Grace turns her competitive nature into service for the betterment of others. Grace’s favorite bible verse is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strength’s me.

Mrs. Sophie Underwood

Employment Specialist

Mrs. Underwood is employed with Grace-Mar Services, Inc. as an employment specialist for the Charlotte Housing Authority’s Southside Job Plus Program. Prior to this position, she was the WorkfFirst program manager for the Urban League of Central Carolinas. Sophie decided to follow her passion of helping people to live better lives after ending a 30-year career in benefits administration with Duke Energy Corp. She then received her A.A.S. degree in human services from Central Piedmont Community College, where she was an AmeriCorps participant and a member of Phi-Theta-Kappa Honor Society.


Sophie also assists her husband with their transitional housing program, New Life House, Inc., and has volunteered with multiple community efforts, including the Domestic Violence Speaker’s Bureau, Beauty for Ashes Ministry, Charlotte Men’s Shelter, Return Ministries, and Jacob’s Ladder Job Center. 

Mr. Kenneth Smith


Kenneth spent 25 years in various positions in the corporate world working for some of the world’s most prestigious companies, including Wells Fargo Financial, American Express and General Electric. He has won numerous awards in the areas of sales and customer service.  Kenneth has an Associate's degree in accounting and a Bachelor’s degree in finance. He also has certificates in non-profit management and business and has completed six sigma green belt training.  In addition, Kenneth is an author and a church deacon and serves on his church board. He and his wife are community outreach leaders and Kenneth serves as the board chair for the church's pre-school. In his spare time, Kenneth enjoys taking long walks with his wife and dog, cooking and spending time with their two boys, Kenneth Jr., 19, and Emmanuel, 12.

Markita Smalls.jpg

Ms. Markita Y. Smalls

Associate Director YouthBuild

Ms Smalls is a business professional that has been in banking and finance for over 20 years and has been responsible for leading, coaching and developing teams while focusing on achieving sales goals and all operations of financial centers.  She graduated from Antioch University, Yellow Springs, Ohio in 2004 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Humanities with an emphasis on Religion and Classical studies.


Markita lived in Dayton, Ohio for 22 years before relocating to Charlotte, NC in 2015 with her 10 year old son.  She is currently working on her Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership.  She now sits on two Boards to include Princess Pearls and the Epilepsy Foundation of the Miami Valley. Through her education and experience her passion lies in helping people to meet both their personal and professional goals.  She is currently working with Grace Mar as a Community Specialist where she is able to realize her passion for people on a daily basis.