StoryCorps Chicago: ‘My Dad Knew Me, Even When I Didn’t Know Myself’

LaVada Smith at the StoryCorps in Chicago.
LaVada Smith at the StoryCorps in Chicago. Courtesy of StoryCorps
LaVada Smith at the StoryCorps in Chicago.
LaVada Smith at the StoryCorps in Chicago. Courtesy of StoryCorps

StoryCorps Chicago: ‘My Dad Knew Me, Even When I Didn’t Know Myself’

Before LaVada Smith’s dad died, he wrote her a letter. In that letter, Smith’s dad told her to go back to school.

Smith, now 38, is a mother, and a student at Roosevelt University, working to get a bachelor’s degree, She hopes to eventually become a doctor.

She recently came to the Chicago StoryCorps booth to talk about something her father’s choice to sign her up for the marines as a teenager.The decision he made changed her life.

StoryCorps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from current visits, as well as from previous trips.