Louise Rigdon-SmithEducational Adviser, Young Scholars Program
As an educational adviser, Louise provides academic advising and access to educational opportunities to the Foundation’s Cooke Young Scholars.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Louise was a high school teacher in Florida and taught several social sciences classes with the majority of her years spent teaching AP Psychology. During her time as a teacher, she worked towards making her school a healthier and more inclusive space by promoting teacher wellness and sponsoring her high school’s first Gay Straight Alliance. She provided clinical mental health services as part of her master’s program and transitioned these skills into a role as a middle school counselor. Louise also ran small groups for students with anxiety and depression and offered individual counseling sessions. While offering student services, she also held many trainings for teachers primarily focused on trauma-informed education and teacher wellness. She received a Teacher of the Year award for her work at the middle school. Most recently, she spent time as an elementary school counselor in Washington, D.C. Her advising philosophy is grounded in empowering students while viewing their development and growth through a holistic lens.
She obtained a B.S. in Social Sciences Education and an M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Central Florida.