Shanavian Smith graduated with honors from Spelman College in 2010 with a B.A. in international studies. Upon graduating, Shanavian interned with the Peace, Programs and Development department at The Carter Center under former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. She has also worked with Habitat for Humanity International, were she contributed to donor relationship building, developed innovative data reporting tools, and advocated for affordable housing worldwide. She has since gone on to work for CARE (an international non-profit focused on development) supporting programs focused on sexual, reproductive and maternal health, primarily in the West Africa region.