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Marrea D. Walker-Smith, MA, MPA

Founder and President

"Learning occurs in many different ways beyond the traditional classroom.  CEO Academy for Youth is committed to offering cost-effective programs which help young people explore and discuss real-world problems and projects that are relevant to a career path. I'm committed to helping young people discover their strengths and become the best version of themselves."

Marrea Walker-Smith, MPA, is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CEO Academy for Youth, a full-service youth academic organization she established in 2017 to prepare students for high demand careers in the greater Philadelphia region. She is a human-designer thinker, teacher, and innovator.

Through partnerships with leading medical, legal, government, and technology companies, she creates and delivers specialized training programs, certifications and internship opportunities.  

The Philadelphia Business Journal honored Walker-Smith as a 2018 Woman of Distinction for her professional achievements, dedication to mentorship and community involvement. Main Line Today Magazine named her a 2018 Healthcare Hero. 

Walker-Smith created the Resident Training Academy, the only program of its kind in the greater Philadelphia region, which connects residents in underserved communities to training, career coaching and personal development.  Pennsylvania Association of Housing and Redevelopment Agencies recognized the Resident Training Academy, which was created for the Chester Housing Authority. 

Prior to launching CEO Academy for Youth, Walker-Smith held several positions in the private and public sectors, including leadership roles in healthcare, development, academics and city government, including:  

  • Project Consultant for STEM Innovation Initiatives at Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC). She is responsible for designing eleven innovative career academies in Healthcare and Technology.  In just two years, Walker-Smith has increased enrollment and created additional funding streams for the organization. 

  • Creator and director of the Girls in Medicine program for The Clinic, a non-profit medical facility in Phoenixville serving uninsured patients. Prior to this role she served as The Clinic’s director of PR, marketing and development.


  • Corporate Relations Coordinator, Independence Blue Cross, Philadelphia


  • Appointed to Deputy Mayor of City of Chester, elected to Chester City Council and City Controller.  As a member of Chester City Council, she was a member of the leadership team that drove the economic rebirth of the City of Chester, including the development of the Harrah’s Chester Casino and PPL Park. 


  • Adjunct Professor of remedial Math, English, and Life Skills courses, Pennsylvania Institute of Technology, Media, PA.

  • Marketing, Management, and Finance Teacher at Devon Preparatory School


Walker-Smith was appointed to the Chester County Women’s Commission, Inc. and serves on its board of directors. She is a member of the board of Recreation for West Bradford Township and serves as advisory trustee for The McLean Contributionship in Wayne, PA. 

Currently, Walker-Smith is working on a Doctorate in Higher Education at Cabrini University. Prior to pursuing her Doctorate in Higher Education, she earned a Six Sigma Green Belt in Healthcare from Villanova University.  While working toward her bachelor’s degree in political science from Delaware State University, she was selected to participate in President Clinton’s pilot program for national service. Walker-Smith holds a master’s degree in English & Publishing from Rosemont College. She also earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Widener University.

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