Glenice Shabazz is a wife, mother of five, and new grandmother. Always interested in entrepreneurship, she founded Smart Steps in June 2003, after 10 years of youth and human service work. Serving over 4500 children since its opening, Smart Steps builds relationships between families, educators and communities in order to foster an environment that breeds academic achievement, cultural enrichment and self-esteem development.
Shabazz’s early education came from both public and private schools. She attended Baltimore City Schools through 6th grade before receiving a scholarship to Bryn Mawr School for Girls. She received a full academic scholarship to Morgan State University’s School of Engineering and later transferred to Coppin State College to pursue a degree in Special Education, more in line with her true passion for youth service.
Shabazz enjoyed years in city schools as a Paraprofessional. She went on to work at Kennedy Krieger Institute as an IEP aide and John P Kennedy Institute (Washington, DC) as an Inclusion Specialist. She joined the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development as a Youth Service Employment Specialist, Job Development Team Leader and finally as Support Services Liaison working to support school age programs like FUTURES and Youth Works. She holds CPR, Early Childhood Education, School Age Education, Medication Administration, Serve Safe, and Crisis Prevention Certifications. Additionally, Mrs. Shabazz holds certifications from The Afterschool Institute and Youth Practitioner’s Institute aimed at quality youth engagement services. She is an active member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc’s Baltimore County Graduate Chapter, Executive Director of Project PAYE (Pathways for Arts & Youth Entrepreneurship), and has served on the Board of Directors for Park Heights Community Health Alliance (PHCHA), Park Heights Renaissance’s Youth & Recreation Committee and the Park Heights Educational Strategic Planning Committee. As Vice-Chair of Youth Educational Services (YES), she supports community-based initiatives including camps, food pantries and community based technology hubs. A member of the Baltimore City Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) and the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success workgroup, she supports initiatives on the road to recovery during the Covid-era. As Co-President of Baltimore City Childcare Coalition, she advocates for licensed providers while supporting the overall success of the childcare industry.
A serial entrepreneur, Shabazz is Founder of Smart Steps Youth Services (SSYS) offering free access to Out of School Time (OST) programs to over 750 Baltimore city youth since 2016. In 2020, Smart Steps Online, a new virtual platform, offered free access to enrichment and early childhood development to children and youth nationwide. Via Smart Steps Catering, Shabazz served over 65000 meals to children and youth from 2009-2018. Realizing the increasing need to serve the whole child, she founded Center For Youth & Families (CFYF) in 2019. This mental health and substance abuse recovery program provides community housing for men and women and Psychiatric Rehabilitation Programs (PRP) for youth and adults.
Shabazz continues to build relationships with city leaders, educators and community members to support Baltimore’s most vulnerable. She balances her love for entrepreneurship and advocacy with her strong family connections.