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Staley News

The news site of Staley High School

Staley News

The news site of Staley High School

Staley News

First Female NFL Coach Visits School

Collette V. Smith Lead Girls Flag Football Practice
Photo Courtesy of Clarissa Davis

    “Be the leader you want to follow.” The student body repeated those words back to the first African-American female NFL coach. Collette V. Smith coached for the New York Jets in 2017.

    Smith spoke during an assembly Sept. 8, sharing her story and the lessons she has learned over the span of her life. 

    Smith works with various teams throughout the nation, empowering young girls. Smith said she allows them to feel represented and valued in their sport.

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      “It’s vitally important to work with young girls in sports,” Smith said. “It builds confidence. It builds self esteem. It builds family.” 

    Smith coached the  girls flag football practice Sept. 7 at North Kansas City High School, sharing her insight with three of teams in the district.  

   “She improved my confidence,” sophomore flag football player Madi Shaw said.  “She has me feeling more determined.” 

    Smith’s said her coaching experiences as a female in a male-dominated sport encouraged her to look past limitations society sets on women. 

   “Lots of people want to put you in a box,” Smith said. “I don’t like to have anyone put me in a box.”

    Smith is familiar working in spaces mainly run by men. 

   “I was usually the only person, only woman, only girl, in most spaces I was in,” Smith said. “I was pretty adept to being the only woman in most rooms I went in.”

   But whether she was in the office or on the field, being in the minority never intimidated  Smith.

      “Football for me was the same difference, except there was a football field,” Smith said.“ We got to wear sneakers and baseball caps as opposed to business suits and high heels.” 

    Seeing the faith she had in herself, she realized she could use those lessons to uplift other girls. 

  “I want to see a world where girls feel accepted without always having to prove ourselves to other people,” Smith said. 

   Smith used advice from her childhood and past experiences to form her company Believe N’ You Inc. Smith said her dad was always sharing with her that she had to believe in herself. 

   “I wanted to spread the wisdom my dad gave me, of believe in you, believe in yourself,” Smith said. “That’s how I started Believe N’ You Inc.” 

  Believe N’ You Inc. highlights confidence and focuses on bringing out the best version possible of each person. 

   “You shouldn’t judge anybody, and I believe it makes people feel like everybody can be worthy,” Smith said.

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