Shawn Smith was born and raised in Pittsburgh’s Beltzhoover neighborhood on the South Side. He is the proud father of 3 boys: Stephon age 7, Shawn the III'rd age 6, Logan age 5. He played high school basketball and football for Langley High School, where he was the quarterback and cornerback. His professional goal has always been to run his own business. Shawn was working two jobs to provide for his family at the time of his spinal cord injury in July 2016. He was going to work at the postal service for the night shift; his car died and all the lights were off when Shawn was hit by another vehicle going 70 MPH who did not see his vehicle before impact. Shawn is grateful for his rehabilitation team at UPMC Mercy, but he has also struggled with maintaining his health and function, transitioning back into the community, finding his “new normal”, and coping with the loss of being an able-bodied person. Despite the emotional and physical challenges that accompanied Shawn’s recovery, he has found new life and a new purpose for himself through his family, through his lyrical writing, and through his new roles as a research engagement representative for the University of Pittsburgh’s All of Us Initiative and the Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Research Engagement team. Shawn is also devoting his time to supporting others with disabilities and educating the public on the power of resilience in recovery and renewal after life-altering trauma.