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Our Beginning

Founded in 1998 in East Harlem (SMART Youth in 2005), SMART provides the latest treatment, prevention, nutrition, and health education information in a supportive peer community, so that self-identified women and youth living with or affected by HIV/AIDS can enjoy longer, healthier, and more productive lives. 

“Each year, SMART reaches thousands
of people across New York City”

Our Mission

SMART was started (and continues to be led) by women living with HIV/AIDS, and is an exemplary transformative nonprofit agency effecting positive change in underserved communities of NYC that have the highest rates of HIV infection. Our mission is to open doors for self-identified women who have faced the greatest societal barriers. As these communities also suffer from disproportionately high rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses, SMART has expanded its outreach over the past several years to embrace a wider population including but not limited to those living with/affected by HIV/AIDS.

Our Programs

At SMART, we incorporate a comprehensive and holistic approach in addressing the obstacles and barriers faced by the people we serve. Our goal is to create a safe, supportive learning environment for all participants. SMART operates with the involvement of top leaders in HIV/AIDS treatment, nutrition, prevention, health and wellness, law, and advocacy. We have developed a focus on “food as treatment” nutrition-based education to empower low-income New Yorkers to learn healthy cooking and eating habits and to have access to high-quality affordable foods.


SMART celebrates 20 years!

THANK YOU for celebrating with us!


SMART held our 20th Anniversary Celebration at Clyde Frazier’s Wine and Dine on June 6th, 2018, and it was amazing! Thank you Clyde Frazier’s!

Thank you to everyone who attended, especially the beautiful SMART women graduates and incredible honorees: 
SMART Action Award: Catherine Hanssens, Esq., Center for HIV Law & Policy
SMART Education Award: Sharene Roig, MA, Ed.M., CONNECT
SMART Partner Award : Lenox Hill Neighborhood Houses 
SMART Founder’s Award: Lorna Gottesman, Mary A., and Alicia R. 

Read the awardee bios here.

And thank you to the Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner, Pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of New York, for her inspiring invocation.

The SMART staff was also able to surprise our Founding Director, Susan Rodriguez, with a special gift and award.

THANK YOU, Susan, for being you!


See SMART in action!


Check out our brochure!