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Natasha Smith-Walker has 25 years of experience in youth development and education. Her career has focused on supporting youth and communities having access to opportunities that will support their growth. As the Executive Director of Project Exploration, she ensures equity, access, and opportunity for girls, minority youth, and communities to get high-quality STEM out of school programming. In addition, her efforts have positioned Project Exploration to lead the development of a STEM Learning Ecosystem for Chicago, including earning a National Science Foundation INCLUDES (Award Abstract #1744523) award. She served on the national STEM Ecosystem Advisory Council and serves on Chicago Public Schools, Instructional Equity Working Group. Her career has included classroom teaching and numerous administrative and educational roles in Chicago’s out-of-school time landscape, including the James Jordan Boys & Girls Club, Mayor Daley’s YouthNet, and After School Matters. She has worked on several projects as a private consultant, including a national examination of public sectors to identify best practices of leadership. She has a BA from the University of Illinois at Chicago.