Home \ About Dr. Chaka Smith
Dr. Chaka P. Smith is a woman that has lived life according to the concept of the golden rule; do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It was upon this foundation that Chaka was raised by her parents Charles and Shirley Smith. Born in Anderson, South Carolina, Chaka came from what society may consider humble beginnings, but by her definition, it was rich beyond measure in love, support and Christian beliefs.
Obtaining a quality education was always a necessity for Chaka. After graduating from T.L. Hanna High School, Chaka continued to advance her education and obtained her BA in Psychology from Winthrop University in 2002. She then went on to receive an MA in Counseling in 2005 from Webster University. She received her license in Counseling in 2008. Chaka has a PHD in General Psychology with a specialization in Education.
Grateful for the knowledge gained of understanding the human mind, she was eager to begin helping people. She started applying her expertise during undergrad as a Residential Counselor at New Hope Beginnings in Rock Hill, SC. She later counseled at numerous organizations including Greenville Mental Health, New Foundations, Daymark Recovery Services and Anderson Oconee Behavioral Health to name a few. But a dream became realized in 2011 when she opened her own practice, Mainstream Therapeutic Services LLC. It was through this venture that she is able to help those in need of any type of mental therapy, all while having control over developing and tailoring services based on clients’ actual needs.
In 2013 Chaka founded Start Tomorrow Today, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping families or individuals through dire situations by uplifting and empowering them with faith, self- worth, relationships and leadership. Since origination, STT has been active in the community of Anderson County with workshops, clothing drives, and other events to assist people in need. Regardless of being CEO of Mainstream and STT she is also an active member in several other organizations. Memberships include the Anderson League of Women Voters, United Way of Anderson County, President of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Kappa Zeta Omega Chapter, American Association of Christian Counselors and Extraordinary Women, American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, League of Women Voters of SC, Minority Health Coalition, National Association of Mental Illness, National Society of Leadership and Success, Rotary International, The African-American Leadership Society of Anderson County, and Young Women’s Association at Welfare Baptist Church. Chaka’s most recent awards are the 2018 Athena Young Professionals Leadership Award, 2019 African American Leadership Society’s Community Trailblazer Award, 2022 SC Heroes in the Community Award, and being recognized as one of the Anderson Independent Mails Top 20 under 40 emerging leaders, and one of the 2020 SC Black Pages Top 20 under 40.
The name Chaka means “life” in Hebrew and that word is synonymous with Chaka’s personal purpose of making the lives of those around her better. Each goal that Chaka has achieved is ultimately selfless and humanitarian in effort. The path has not been easy, but with family and friends that believe in her missions and a foundation of Christian faith, one person truly can make a difference.