Onward Leaders Program Director
Allyson Alberto Smith was born and raised in San Francisco where she attended Catholic school from Kinder-8th grade. Growing up she aspired to be the next Oprah Winfrey and become a talk show host, so what better place to go to college but in Southern California, home of the Hollywood stars. As a first-generation Filipino-American college student, she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism and a minor in Sociology at Loyola Marymount University (LMU). Allyson joined a service organization and tutored inner-city kids who, just like her, needed that extra motivation. It was in working with kids where she found her happiness and realized that the television industry did not give her fulfillment. Her calling was in Catholic education… specifically in the inner-city. She received her first Master’s at LMU in Special Education as a member of the PLACE Corps Program and a second Master’s (again as an LMU lion) in Catholic School Administration. She was placed at Immaculate Heart of Mary School as a junior high math and science teacher in the PLACE Corps program thirteen years ago and was blessed to have continued her ministry there as its principal for eight years. This is her fourth year as a mentor principal for the Onward Leaders program (in which two of her resident principals are now mentor principals). Allyson will bring this program to a new level as she has a clear view of where it has been and how it has evolved.