Debra A. Johnson ~ MA/HD Social Change

“The SMILE LaDy” and founder, has been SMILE(ing) in the Altadena /Pasadena community since 1978, as a parent, foster parent, youth advocate/mentor, motivational speaker.  Debra helps all children find their purpose by providing a positive safe creative environment; she has helped hundreds of students find their creative purpose, which has earned her several awards including Woman of the Year Altadena (2005) by Congressman Adam Schiff, Aspires Outstanding Educator Award (2005), Top Ladies of Distinction Altadena Chapter 94.7 Waves of Inspiration (2010) and “Tony” Stewart, Healthy Start Big Heart Award 2010. In addition she works with socially challenged youth, single/teen parents and mentoring/supporting young grandparents.  She believes it is never too late to learn, as Mary McLeod Bethune said, “As I learn I teach”


Country (Ghana) Director and Webmaster

Sylvester Atitsogbe ~ Putting smile on the faces of the rural poor is what he fights to achieve on daily bases. Sylvester is also the co founder and CEO of VARAS, a non profit organization that strive to ameliorate rural Ghana. Through VARAS, the SMILE project is extended to rural communities and schools in Ghana.




Field Officer (Ghana)

Desmond Quarshie ~ Very natural, down to earth, loving… are some of the qualities he puts in every project aim to bring social change. Serving in the capacity as the Projects Director of VARAS, Desmond has deep knowledge of what rural communities need, hence excited to serve in the capacity as the field officer of the SMILE projects.