Charlotte Smith, a Riverside native, was named on Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 List (Photo courtesy of Forbes).

Breanna Reeves |

Forbes magazine released their 10th annual 30 Under 30 List which recognizes the work of 600 young leaders and entrepreneurs across 20 different categories. For the 2022 class, Forbes featured Riverside native Charlotte Smith for the work and policies she has implemented at Google.

“I was really shocked, honestly. There’s so many folks in my cohort that do such great work. It was surprising to me when I saw my name on the list, but I was also really proud,” said Smith in an interview with Black Voice News. “I was really proud of the work I was able to do with my team and the impact we made.”

Smith, 29, is a Policy Communications Manager at Google in Washington D.C. where she has worked for five years and made strides in the company — and the media industry — through her development of policies banning the spread of misinformation and hate speech through information ads. She is also recognized for her advocacy work and improving the way Google, as a company, interacts with communities of color.

Credits her Riverside roots

Smith earned her B.A. in Government from Harvard in 2014, but recognizes that her primary school education in the Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) played a role in who she grew up to be. She attended Riverside Poly High School, Matthew Gage Middle School, and Alcott Elementary School.

“I was really shocked, honestly. There’s so many folks in my cohort that do such great work. It was surprising to me when I saw my name on the list, but I was also really proud,”

Charlotte Smith

Smith explained that in addition to the diversity and educational opportunities that Riverside had to offer, her teachers were passionate about what they taught and provided unique perspectives.

“I had this statistics teacher that actually made statistics fun and made me feel accomplished when I got it after a lot of studying,” said Smith. “And I also just kind of love that I felt supported and cheered on. I still keep in touch with a lot of my teachers via Facebook. Hopefully, I’ve made them proud.”

Smith’s mom is still a teacher with RUSD and teaches first grade at Alcott Elementary School.

Smith recognized that her success is not without support from her community and Black women who helped pave the way for her. One thing she has learned during her career is to “shoot your shot,” and advises Black girls to reach for their goals.

“Do not be afraid to take chances. I think sometimes as women, especially women of color, we sometimes hold ourselves back from opportunities. And I think part of how I’ve made it this far is by just taking that risk and shooting the shot,” Smith said. “The second thing I have learned is to pass it on because it can be scary to be the only Black girl in a meeting or the only Black person in the room.”

Smith explained that by passing it on, she can extend opportunities and transfer knowledge to those that come behind her because, “we can all win in this environment.”

Breanna Reeves

Breanna Reeves is a reporter in Riverside, California, and uses data-driven reporting to cover issues that affect the lives of Black Californians. Breanna joins Black Voice News as a Report for America Corps member. Previously, Breanna reported on activism and social inequality in San Francisco and Los Angeles, her hometown. Breanna graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in Print & Online Journalism. She received her master’s degree in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics. Contact Breanna with tips, comments or concerns at breanna@voicemediaventures.com or via twitter @_breereeves.