Lela Smith joined the Indiana Youth Institute in April 2010 as the Central Indiana Outreach Manager. Previously, she worked in the field of sales for six years. Residing in Indianapolis, Lela serves the institutions and her fellow workers of Central Indiana by connecting them with necessary resources and other community efforts to support youth. Lela has devoted the majority of her career to working with children. She has owned a daycare center and coached volleyball and she substitute taught for her school district. Through this hands-on experience, Lela developed close relationships with the children, and as a service provider learned to understand their development. She also has volunteered her services at the YMCA and at Motivate Our Minds in Muncie, where she tutored young children after school. Lela completed her bachelor’s degree in education from Ball State University.