Youth Director

Meet Joy F. Smith

''''The primary objective of our Youth Director is to plan and guide the spiritual education of children and teens and support those serving on the Youth and Family Ministry Team in successfully mentoring the young. Another objective is to create a safe environment where the young can grow through spiritual self-discovery. 

Our Youth Director is available to support children, their parents, and our team members and attend to the administrative details connected with managing our Sunday morning youth experience. The Youth Director also identifies and provides a Unity curriculum, coordinates with the adult Sunday service, creates classroom environments with appropriate enrichment resources, and works with other teams to involve our youth in all areas of our spiritual community.

We welcomed Joy F. Smith as our new Youth and Family Director in July 2021.

Joy will include prayer, spirituality, and meditation in her lessons and incorporate yoga, theater, and dance into playful exercises.

Joy comes to Unity with an extensive background in youth education. She has been teaching and working with young people in Greater Cleveland since 1977 and is currently in her ninth year at Lee Burneson Middle School in Westlake, where she leads the after-school drama program.

She holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater from Webster University in St. Louis. In addition, she attended the master of fine arts program at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and the Cleveland School of Ballet. She is a certified yoga instructor with 600-plus hours, including 'YogaEd.'

Joy has worked extensively with Cleveland M.S.P., Cleveland Opera on Tour, and the Cleveland Music School Settlement. She also taught yoga at the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Joy became an ordained minister in 1994. “This was a dream come true for me," she said. "It would forever change how I work with children.”

You can contact Joy at


Joy and our YFM Program were featured in a story on The story also appeared in the West Shore Sun.  Please click here to read the story. Story courtesy of Shirley MacFarland. Photo courtesy of Randy Desnoyer.