Christine Smith – Staff Attorney


C. Christine Smith graduated with honors from Stetson University College of Law in 2006. While in law school, Christine clerked in the staff attorney’s office at the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, clerked for the judiciary in the East Division, as well as an internship at the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office. After law school, Christine began her career in child advocacy at the L. David Shear Children’s Law Center of Bay Area Legal Services, a nonprofit Children’s law center. In 2011, Christine joined the firm of Hernandez & Smith, P.A. as a partner focusing on juvenile and family law.

In July 2023, Christine joined Florida Children’s First as a part-time staff attorney, dedicating herself to representing young adults in dependency court and related proceedings as well as legislative and executive branch advocacy.

Christine has been a foster parent, has hosted students in her home studying abroad, and has one teenage daughter.   Christine loves spending time outdoors and traveling.

Please Contact Christine HERE.

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Alexia Nechayev

FYS Events & Meeting Chair
(Palm Beach)

Hello, My name is Alexia Nechayev. I am 25 years old and I am an alumna of Florida International University where I received my B.A. in Psychology. My future career goal is to be a Lawyer. I was in care for about one year from age 17 to 18. Prior to entering care, I only knew about the negative stigma regarding foster care and while in care that narrative was unfortunately my experience.

In school I felt like I was on display because my status in care was broadcast to other students and in my placement behavior was leveraged for “privileges” that should be a natural right of all children. Because I did not know my rights I did not know that what I was experiencing was wrong. Today this is exactly why I advocate, because I don’t want this to be the same for other youth who are experiencing foster care.

This is my second year on the FYS Statewide Board and I’m happy to be the Events and Meetings Chair this year because my main goal through advocacy is to reach as many people as possible. My favorite thing as a board member is to see how comfortable members become while working together. The community needs to know that youth in foster care are real people, going through some of the hardest moments of their life and youth need to know that their voice is powerful. I believe that we have to speak up and bring these issues to people’s attention so that they do not forget us. Advocacy, education and consistency is the only way.

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