The ARC of Anderson County, a United Way agency serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, recently honored Theresa-Vay Smith as one of the recipients of the organization’s 2014 Dove Awards. Smith is an attorney with the Oak Ridge office of Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands.
Dove Awards are given every year to recipients who display outstanding service to children or adults with cognitive or developmental disabilities, a press release said.
The Emory Valley Center in Anderson County, a nonprofit agency serving children and adults with disabilities, nominated Smith for the award. Smith represents disabled individuals of the Emory Valley Center who need home-based care.
This is Smith’s second time being honored. She first received the award in 2011.
“Receiving this award, not once, but twice reflects Thersa-Vay’s passion and dedication advocating for some of our community’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Janet Mynatt, managing attorney for Legal Aid Society’s Oak Ridge office. “We are excited to see others recognize her enduring contributions, and we’re proud of her selfless service to our community.”
A Knoxville native, Smith graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law and University of Tennessee College of Business MBA program in 1996. Upon graduation, she served as a volunteer attorney with Legal Aid of East Tennessee in Knoxville before joining Legal Aid Society’s Oak Ridge office in 1997.
Smith is a past president of the board of directors of Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Tennessee Heartland, current chair of one panel of the Foster Care Review Board for Anderson County, and past president of Community Mediation Services of Anderson County, where she currently serves as a board member and chair of the Public Awareness committee.
She is a 2005 graduate of the Tennessee Bar Association’s (TBA) Leadership Law Program for outstanding young lawyers, and was appointed to the TBA’s 2009 and 2010 Leadership Law Steering Committee.
Legal Aid Society has eight offices that provide free civil legal assistance to low-income and vulnerable populations in 48 Tennessee counties. Legal Aid Society’s services provide families living in poverty an opportunity to obtain basic necessities, such as healthcare, housing, income, protection from family violence and access to basic goods and services. Visit www.las.org to learn more about Legal Aid Society.