Former NFL Linebacker tackling
the ills of public education…
“Every child deserves an exceptional education.”
Following his days as a NFL Linebacker for the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Rams, Marvin Lynn Smith used his status to create a pathway toward helping youth as a community leader and social entrepreneur. Presently, Smith is in preliminary funding talks with hopes of opening potential school sites in Ohio as he continues to spread the word about Ed-reform at speaking engagements nationwide. In April 2014, Marvin added on-air personality to his resume joining Los Angeles’ Talk Radio “Answers for the Family” show. The show takes callers with questions that revolve around family dynamics, raising children, psychology and education. It provides a one-stop shop resource for answers, information and options to raising children in today’s ever-changing culture. LATALKRADIO.com airs Mondays at 11 am (PST) on Channel 1.
Smith is the founder of the former Micro-Enterprise Charter Academy (MECA) school, later named after a living legend of Long Beach, CA Doris Topsy-Elvord Academy (DTEA), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charter school foundation and community-based youth enrichment program that integrates technology, leadership and entrepreneurship education to teach participating students to design and manage micro-enterprises using state-of-the-art technology. This creation was born out of the desire to inspire children and parents through education, advocacy appeal and enrichment services. MECA was a State of California-authorized public charter school, addressing the critical need for innovative educational alternatives for economically disadvantaged students. The school’s ongoing mission was providing a rigorous standards-based college preparatory program, while preparing students to obtain knowledge and skills for success in life.
A former standout student-athlete and Pomona, CA native Smith became an academic scholar and Pre-Med student at California State University Fullerton. He went on to a successful NFL career that was sidelined by injury and followed by early retirement. His love for community outreach is reflected by his commitment to giving back and teaching younger generations how to develop and build their own communities through effective leadership. As a direct result, he is Master Certified in Emotional Intelligence (EQ-i) with a personal mission of adding value to the lives of Generations X, Y and beyond.
In 1998, he and his wife Karla established the Fundamental Understanding of Neurological Nurturing (FUNN) Enrichment Center and created ‘Corporate Kids/CyberKlub’ (CK2), a student enrichment program in partnership with Pomona Unified School District, CA that provided a computer lab with technology and entrepreneurial training while reinforcing positive character development. It was geared for students aged 11-16 who did not have a computer at home, and whose parents were unable to offer financial support. CK2 addressed the digital divide and inspired academic achievement and community leadership in its participants. Some of Marvin’s CK2 students include recent graduates of the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), Dartmouth College, and numerous other colleges and universities.
In 2009, Smith was elected as President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) Former Players and remains an active member. Marvin earned a Master’s degree in Business with an emphasis in Organizational Management and Leadership from Azusa Pacific University. He has received a Certificate of Marketing Principles from the University of Southern California (USC); earned his Bachelor’s in Psychology from California State University of Fullerton and is an ordained minister.