Hearn Smith is a proud Shortridge High School alum (Class of ’66) and the current
CEO of the Girls Scouts of Central Indiana.


For more
than 46 years, she has served her community by helping to empower girls. She
has also been inducted into the IPS Alumni Hall of Fame for her outstanding

Deborah Hearn Smith

Hearn Smith
received her undergraduate degree from Kentucky State University, her MBA from
Indiana Wesleyan University and a Nonprofit Management Certificate from Harvard


She recently
reflected on her time as a Shortridge student and her journey on being an
inspiration in the community, particularly to young women.


Early life in Indianapolis…

I lived in
Indianapolis my whole life. I went to IPS 60, then to Shortridge. I remember
walking to school, which I thought was a lot of fun. Walking with friends was a
high point each day. I also remember walking home for lunch daily in elementary


I started as
a Girl Scout at age 7. As a young adult, I served as a day camp counselor and
director. Many years later, I now serve as the the CEO of the Girl Scouts of
Central Indiana.


Your experience at Shortridge…

My studies
were always academically challenging.  I was
always in extra-curricular activities. I enjoyed music, a cappella choir, theatre
and staging.   


My IPS education prepared me for…

The world I
live in. When I went to IPS, it was an extremely cross-section of the world. I
learned to get along with people whose backgrounds were different than
mine.  When I got in the real world, I
was prepared.  IPS taught me to think
critically, to be responsible for myself and my decisions and to explore
multiple options. 


Fondest IPS memory as a student…

Aside from graduating,
I really enjoyed my friends. It was a sense of community. I had friends I went
from first grade through high school with, which will last a lifetime. My
current events teacher in Grade 11 gave us a quiz every day on the newspaper.
It developed a lifelong habit of reading the paper; I still enjoy reading
several papers daily.   


Proudest accomplishments…

The support and
help I have been able to give to people. My motto is: “If I can help someone,
then my living is not in vain.” I have the most pride in helping others shine
and succeed.


Your life since graduating…

My life has
been great. I have been married for 46 years to Ebenezer Smith, who I met at
Kentucky State University. We have two sons, Lawrence and Jason, both living in
Indianapolis; and I have four grandchildren, ages 6-21. I have been with the
Girl Scouts for 46 years and have overcome many challenges; I have risen above
them and have had a great life.   



I plan to
travel more to places I haven’t been. I would love to go to Cuba and India.
Above all, I still want to make a difference. 


Interest/Hobbies …

I am
interested in genealogy. I was able to trace my maternal grandfather all the
way down to my third great-grandfather on the plantation in Shively, Ky. I love
to read as well. I have read all kinds of books. I love to cook. I enjoy the
theater; my favorite (production) is “Les Miserables.”