About Zach's Journey
of Befriending Adversity
At a young age Zachary Smith mastered the art of transforming adversity into his best friend. He was raised as a golden boy to meet his parent’s expectations. These expectations met resistance in his high school journey. He experienced a sports related concussion, verbal abuse, depression, drug abuse, and homelessness.
Zach always felt the pressure to be an over-achiever in hopes of establishing a positive image that others would love. Exploring social life and becoming popular became a goal. Zach’s pursuit of this goal disregarded right choices, which threatened his image. When his hard-worked image was destroyed, his penchant for risky behavior prevailed.
At seventeen, he had a defining moment where he woke up alone on a bench, felt alone and separated from the world. All Zach could do was think about life. In that moment he chose to be self-aware and hold himself accountable for his position in life. He finally saw the man in the mirror. Zach no longer feared where he was but began to love himself for what he could be. His perspective of his past, present, and future felt complete with positivity and purpose. He realized anyone can live with a purpose, so he decided his purpose was to unconditionally love others.
Zach began a solo journey to develop his own philosophy of his divine purpose and how to live well, mindful, and spiritually enlightened. Over the past year through his involvement in The Future Project, and Campaign for Black Male Achievement’s Transformational Leadership Fellowship, Zach has been supported through mentors, additional wisdom, and skills to continue developing himself and his innate leadership talents. He fully embraces his purpose to love others unconditionally.
Being aware of his knowledge and experience was something new and powerful and could be one of the greatest lessons he ever learned. Zach became motivated to write his first self-help book, Love is Weak. He believes it will influence others to truly love themselves for a purpose other than themselves.
Zachary is a student at Wayne State University pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is currently a member of CBMA’s Promise of Place Detroit Team. Zachary has also completed CBMA’s Health and Healing Transformational Leader Fellowship, to solidify his stance as a health and healing ambassador for his community. In the past year Zach has been attending black male achievement conferences from across the country to develop awareness of where love is needed! Zach recently visited Cass Technical High-school, the high school that kicked him out a month before graduation, to inspire the students with his story. This has been one of many opportunities he has been taking advantage of to spark his motivational speaking career.