Super Smart Alum Writes New Story for Youth
By Cris Hay-Merchant, Director of Strategic Communications
Latina McIntyre’s life has truly come full circle.
Thanks to lessons she learned from her Grandma Essie, she’s seeing two organizations she founded achieve success in motivating young women to be as McIntyre describes it “sweet, smart and goal-oriented.”
McIntyre, a 2010 Master in Public Administration graduate and proud Air Force veteran, explains that both entities, which share the name “Super Smart Girl,” are focused on helping girls be the best versions of themselves. “Super Smart Girl is built on love and positive exploration,” she said. There is a non-profit club that engages young girls ages 2 through 18 in community service events and educational programs in order to stimulate critical thinking skills, life skills, teamwork and positive self-image, as well as a for-profit LLC that provides mentoring services to girls in three age groups.
Girls who acquire those skills, believes McIntyre, will have a bright future. “The Super Smart Girl model is bridging the gap between the local community and youth,” she said. In 2017, Super Smart Girl members engaged in educational activities with a historical museum where they learned to polish silver and maintain museum artifacts; put together Hurricane Harvey care packages; and collected and donated books for St. Jude’s and Shriners Hospital for children, further reinforcing the non-profit organization’s literacy-based, educational mission.
Another visible sign of Super Smart Girl’s message of positivity is “The Super Smart Girl Book,” which was recently published by Mascot Books. Written by McIntyre and accompanied by illustrations by Eric Quzack, the book tells the adventures of Royal, a fierce and respectful young girl. According to McIntyre and her book’s heroine, Royal, Super Smart Girls are capable of excelling in reading, math, cooking and fashion, while also demonstrating that they are loving, respectful, helpful, kind, responsible and authentic to those around them.
Currently, girls in several age groups from North Carolina, Georgia and South Carolina, where McIntyre and her family now reside, are members. But the Super Smart Girl map will likely expand soon. “I plan on obtaining national accreditation and I have a workshop that I will be launching,” said McIntyre.
Wherever she goes to spread the story of “sweet, smart and goal-oriented girls,” her husband and best friend, Elston Ray, and her two sons and stepdaughter, will be cheering her on. “Our boys are excited and anticipating the release of the boy version of the book. My husband is happy to be a part of the vision and growth of the book.”
McIntyre believes that her Grandma Essie, who always made time to help others, would be rejoicing in her success if she were still alive. “Royal is the little girl that I always wanted. Her love for life and people is the love that my late grandmother instilled in me.”