10 Years After Katrina: Empowering New Orleans’ Youth

It’s one of America’s great paradoxes: when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans on August 29, 2005, it left behind a level of destruction that still brings pangs of shock and sadness. Yet no other American city I’ve visited continues to inspire more passion – even, yes, love – from its citizens.

On Katrina’s 10th anniversary, I did a series of interviews of New Orleanians who returned after the mandatory evacuation, picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and turned their passion into action, not just to rebuild the city, but to use their diverse talents to make it even better than it was. Here’s one of those stories.

Name: Curry W. Smith

Age: 30

Hometown: Lafayette, La.

Occupation: Executive Director, Young Leadership Council

My Katrina Story: I was about to begin my junior year at Tulane University and had just finished leading a pre-orientation program for new students. The very next day, the university encouraged all students and their families to evacuate the city.

Read the rest of the story on my Forbes Seat 1A site.