Kiana “Kiki” Smith is an Oakland native whose struggle with mental health began in April 2013. After her first hospitalization, Kiana was determined to find out more about her diagnosis and to find other African-American women who share the same struggle with mental health. Luckily she didn’t have to look very far. One day, while talking to a friend from college, Kiana had enough courage to tell that friend about her mental health challenges, and in return, that friend was brave enough to share her own experiences with mental health challenges. Later on in that conversation, Kiana’s friend suggested that she come with her to check out an organization called PEERS -the rest is history!
Kiana is the oldest of five siblings and an auntie to three nieces and one nephew. She graduated from Skyline High School, class of 2007, she received an Outstanding Lifeguard award while working for the City of Oakland as a Lifeguard/Swim team coach and Water Safety Instructor. She is a Best Now! graduate, class of 2019 and before graduating the Best Now! program in June 2019, she was hired in May 2019 as a Program Assistant at PEERS. In her leisure time, Kiana enjoys listening to music and swimming for her health and one of her future goals is to graduate from Merritt College by summer 2020.