Vernon G. Smith portrait

Vernon G. Smith


Hawthorn Hall 339

Community Service

I am the recipient of over 200 awards (plaques) and over 100 citations of appreciation or achievement.
A few representative ones (awards) are listed below:

•Clark Road Church’s Outstanding Educators and Community Servant Award, 2013
•African American Achievers Youth Corps, Inc. Distinguished Founders Award, 2013
•Galilee M. B. Church Service Award, 2012
•Calumet Township Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award, 2012
•Froebel High School Alumni The Man Award, 2012
•Images of Hope “Unsung Hero” Award, 2011
•Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Centennial Celebration Award of Appreciation, 2011
•Apostolic Youth & Family Services, Inc. Beacon of Light Award, 2011
•Beta Mu Chapter Kudos Outstanding Black Male Role Model Award, 2011
•New Hope M.B. Church Community Service Award, 2011
•Legacy Foundation Center for Mentors Appreciation Award, 2011
•Brothers Keeper’s Distinction Award, 2009
•CRWorks, Inc.  Public Service Award, 2009
•IUN’s Campus Council on Diversity Excellence Award, 2009
•Indiana University’s Charlie Nelms Alumni Award, 2009
•Indiana Black Expo’s Elected Official Award, 2009
•Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, 10th District Scroll of Appreciation, 2008
•George Pinnell Service Award, 2008
•Gary Community Health Center Recognition Award, 2008
•IUN’ Campus Council on Diversity Recognition Award, 2008
•Indiana Minority Health Coalition and Mental Health America of Indiana Legislator of the Year Award, 2007
•Indiana Dabney University Outstanding Service Award in Education, 2007
•Mental Heath America Hoosier Idol Award, 2007
•Parent Leadership Council Partners in Leadership Award, 2007
•G.E.M.S. Appreciation Award, 2006
•IUN Trustee Teaching Award, 2006
•National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. Beta Mu Chapter Pursuit of Excellence Award, 2006
•Indiana Conference of American Association of University Professors’ Recognition Award, 2006
•Israel CME Church Metropolitan Outstanding Community Service Award, 2006
•East Chicago NAACP’s Achievement Award, 2006
•Indiana University Welsh-Bowen Award, 2005
•Lew Wallace H.S. Distinguished Leader Award, 2005
•West Side H.S. Honor Society Award of Appreciation, 2005
•Alpha Kappa Kappa Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Appreciation Award, 2005
•!0th District, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Citizen of the Year, 2005
•Listed in Who’s Who in America, 2005
•Listed in Outstanding intellectuals of the 21st Century, 2005
•Listed in Who’s Who in the Midwest, 2005
•Listed in Who’s Who in America, 2004
•Chief’s Award, Lake Station, 2004
•New Hope African American – Frederic Douglas Award, 2003
•Listed in Who’s Who in America; Listed in International Who’s Who in the Midwest; Listed in Who’s Who in American Politics, 19th Edition, 2003
•Alpha Kappa Kappa Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Man of the Year Award,  2003
•Alpha Kappa Kappa Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Citizen of the Year Award,  2003
•City of Lake Station Appreciation Award, 2002
•Majestic Star Award, 2002
•Gary Frontiers Marchers Award, 2002
•IUN’s 10 Year Service Award, 2002
•1st Place Individual Highest Achievement, NW Indiana Aids Walk, 2002
•Froebel School Alumni Service Award, 2002
•Froebel School Alumni Appreciation Award, 2002
•Ivanhoe School Service Award, 2002
•Majestic Star Black History Award, 2002
•Listed in Who’s Who in America; Listed in Who’s Who Among African Americans; Listed in International Who’s Who in the Midwest, 2002 edition
•Listed in 18the Edition of Who’s Who in American Politics, 2001
•National Association of Social Workers Region I Outstanding Commitment Award, 2000
•Gary Reading Council Appreciation Award, 2000
•IUN TERA Award, 2000
•Listed in Who’s Who in America, 2000 edition; Listed in Who’s Who in America, 2000 edition; Listed in International Who’s Who, 2000 edition
•Hoosier Boys Town Appreciation Award, 2000
•Featured (Cover Story) Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Newsletter for Diversity (Winter, 2000)
•New Hope Men’s Day Award, 2000
•Listed in The Dictionary of Leading Americans, Midwest 1999 edition; Listed in Strathmore's Who Who's, 1999 edition
•Pittman Square School Appreciation Award, 1999
•NAACP Ovington Award, 1999
•New Hope Award, 1999
•Omega  Psi Phi Fraternity 10th District Service Award, 1999
•Lake Co. Association for the Retarded Appreciation Award, 1999
•Brothers Keeper Appreciation Award, 1999
•Listed in Who's Who in America, 1998 edition; Who's Who in the Midwest, 1998 edition; Strathmore's Who's Who, 1998 edition
•Froebel High School Alumni Appreciation Award, 1998
•Indiana Chapter of National Association of Social Workers Citizen of the Year, 1998
•Pittman Square School Appreciation Award, 1998
•Facet Excellence in Teaching Award, 1999
•Indiana League of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Service Award, 1998
•Froebel High School Alumni Appreciation Award, 1997
•Indiana Chapter of National Association of Social Workers Citizen of the Year, 1997
•Pittman Square School Appreciation Award, 1997
•Phi Delta Kappa Northwest Indiana Chapter 25 Year Award, 1996
•Gary Community School Corp. Parent Involvement Program Presenters Award, 1996
•National Council of Negro Women In the Bethune Tradition  Award, 1996
•Listed in International Who's Who of Professionals, 1995
•Northwest Indiana Black Expo's Senator Carolyn Mosby Above and Beyond Award, 1995
•I.U. Dons, Inc. 25 Year Service Award, 1994
•Washington School Star Maker Award, 1993
•NAACP Heritage Award, 1993
•Gary Community Mental Health Center Board Member of the Year, 1993
•Inroads/NW Indiana Frank C. Carr Award, 1993
•Brothers Keeper You Are Special Award, 1993
•Pilgrim MB Church Pack A Pew Award, 1993
•Coalition of Black Trade Unionist Appreciation Award, 1993
•Walter J. Rooda Poor Relief Reform Award, 1993
•River Forest Community Schools Service Award, 1993
•Omega  Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Undergraduate Workshop Appreciation Award, 1993
•NAACP Outstanding Service Award, 1993
•Williams Elementary School Appreciation Award, 1992
•Williams Elementary School P.T.A. Appreciation Award, 1992
•Gary Elementary Principals Appreciation Award, 1992
•I.U. Northwest Alumni Association, Division of Education, Distinguished Educator Award, 1992
•Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police Appreciation Award, 1992
•Methodist Hospital Child and Adolescent Program Appreciation Award, 1992
•Indiana Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals Service Award, 1992
•Brothers Keeper Service Award, 1992
•Mr. G's Service Award, 1991
•I.U.S.A.A. Founding Member Award, 1991
•Gary Community Schools Presenters Award, 1991
•Omega Phi Phi's Omicron Rho Appreciation Award, 1991

Public Service Special Projects

•Sponsor Annual Spirit of Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day for the needy, homeless, etc.  Provide gifts and food for over 600, 1988-present
•Organized a Forum on Homelessness, 2003
•Sponsor Annual Fall Fest in behalf of Brothers Keeper Shelter for Homeless Men.  Raised over $10,000 annually; 1987-present
•Chair the Gary Indiana Citywide Festival Committee, Inc.- sponsors the Taste of Gary and Steel City Festival, 1980-95.  Donated over $25,000 to Gary Parks Department and Genesis Center
•Sponsor Annual Harvest Feast - feed the homeless and needy during the Thanksgiving season, 1991-present
•Board President and Mentor, African American Achievers Youth Corps, Inc. - provides mentoring, counseling, recreational, entrepreneurial, and tutorial services for over 289 Black male youth, 1993- present
•Chair - the I.U. Dons, Inc. Penny-A-Ton Drive.  Raise over $3,000 annually to provide clothing, food and toys to needy Gary students during the Yuletide season; 1969-present
•Sponsored a "Stash the Trash" project to clean Broadway, 4th-53rd Avenues, 1997 and 2000.

Public Service Memberships


•Mentor, Jefferson School Gentlemen of Distinction Boys Organization, 2006- present

•National Chair, African American Male National Council, 2003 - present

•Member, Advisory Board of Children’s Art Institute, 2003-present

•Board Member, Spirit of God Accelerated School, 1998 - 2004

•Board Member, Middle States African Studies Association, 2000 - present

•Member and Chaplain, Indiana Legislative Black Caucus, 1990 - present

•Board Member, Brothers Keeper Shelter for Homeless Men, 1985-present

•Member, Health and Human Service Committee of the Midwestern Legislators

   Conference of the Council of State Government, 1999-present

•Founder and President, Vernon Stars, 1976- present

•Chairman, Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males, 1993- present

•Chairman, Froebel-Roosevelt Annual Nostalgia Reunion, 1984-present

•Deacon and Sunday School Teacher, New Hope M.B. Church, 2000 - present

•Board Member, Northwest Indiana Urban League, 1980-present

•Founder and President, Focus Hope, 1971- present

•Founder and President, I.U. Dons, Inc., 1969 - present

•Founder and Board President, African American Achievers Youth Corps, Inc., 1993-


•Member, Indiana Legislative Black Caucus, 1990-present

•Member,  Board of Trustees of the Criminal Justice Institute, 1996-present

•Member,  Governor's Commission for Drug Free Indiana, 1991- present

•Life Member and Board Member, Gary Chapter of NAACP, 1980-97

•Member, Indiana Public Defender Commission, 1999-2001

            •Founder and Board President, I.U. Dons' Donzel program, Inc., 1973- 1999

•Founder and  Chairman, Gary Black Leaders Council, 1992

•Acting Chair, Froebel School Proposal Taskforce, 1992

•Volunteer, Campaign for the Beautification of City of Gary, 1994-96

•Founder and Chairman, Gary Indiana City-Wide Festivals Committee, Inc., 1980-


•Deacon and Sunday School Teacher, Pilgrim M. B. Church, 1980- 2000

•Advisory Member, Latin Community Alliance for Support and Assistance of NW Indiana


•Chaplain, National Black Caucus of State Legislators, 1992-99

•Founder and Past President, 100 Black Men of Gary, 1992-93

•Mentor, 21st Century Scholars Program, 1994-97

•Mentor, Roosevelt High School Sophomore Class, 1994-97

•Participant, Muscular Dystrophy Association Lock Up, 1995;1996 (earned the highest

    amount of monies both years)

•Founder and Member, Northwest Indiana Alliance of Black School Educators, 1978-          


•Member and Board President (1990-92), Gary Community Mental Health Center,            


•Member, National Nominating Committee for Outstanding Young Men of American         

    Program, 1996