Monday, October 26th, 2020

Our Story


Jennifer Smart broadcasting live from the Consumer Electronics Show in 20055

Jennifer Smart broadcasting live from the Consumer Electronics Show in 2005

In 2009, then 13-year-old Jennifer Smart established the Jennifer Smart Foundation to help kids and the things they care about. From a young age, Jennifer had always split her allowance and gift money three ways – spend, save, and donate. After beginning in radio at 6, she wanted to take her experience as a broadcaster and use it to encourage others to give back.

Initially, the mission of the foundation was to assist organizations and raise awareness of issues regarding kids health & education, animals, and the environment, through information and entertainment services.

AM1240-bevelIn 2010, the foundation purchased KALY AM 1240 in Albuquerque from the Walt Disney Company. Jennifer used this platform to air her 24/7 radio format, JENNiRADIO, spreading positive messages with family-friendly music and other entertainment.

While in Albuquerque, Jen and team developed the Find Your Voice program, which helps sick, healthy and disadvantaged kids and teens improve communication skills and increase self esteem.

As the team began working directly with kids, encouraging them to share their individual personalities and the things that were important to them, we quickly realized that each and every one of them had a passion for something different, and supported a wide variety of causes. While still providing some direction to those who were figuring out the important things in their lives, we encouraged kids to share their own experiences with charities and causes, rather than trying to direct them to a group of organizations we’d come up with.

KJNI-DIN_150In 2015, the foundation launched KJNI-LP 101.7 FM in Southern California, bringing family-friendly music and entertainment to the Inland Empire. As JENNiRADIO’s new flagship station (replacing Albuquerque’s KALY), this channel airs what we call family hits, which is mostly pop, with a sprinkling of other genres like country, rock, alternative, hip hop, 80s and TV & movie hits. We strive to provide family-friendly music, which means these may be slightly edited versions of songs you might hear from other outlets. Our goal is to provide music that is enjoyed by the whole family, that parents will continue listening to, even when the kids aren’t in the car. KJNi-LP 101.7 FM is available on local terrestrial radio 24 hours a day. The JENNiRADIO format can also be heard worldwide at JENNiRADIO.com and through the free JENNiRADIO iOS app, available from the Apple App Store.

JENNiRADIO is also the audio home of the Smart Movie Show, a one-hour weekly movie review show, hosted by Jennifer and her parents. This show currently airs on Fridays at 10am and Sundays at 5pm (both PT).

In 2016 we built the Find Your Voice Center in the Outlets at Lake Elsinore, and opened our doors with the location’s first Find Your Voice radio workshop in November of that year. While the radio workshop is our most popular one, we continue to add new topics and fun events at the Find Your Voice Center.

The Find Your Voice Center is also home to the radio studio where the Smart Movie Show is recorded for both radio and TV each week. In addition to airing on JENNiRADIO, the TV version is also available in 12+ markets around the US. The center also includes the largest green screen in SW Riverside County and 2 practical video sets, in addition to the radio studio and workshop space.

Recent highlights at the Find Your Voice Center include an appearance by actress/singer/dancer Alyson Stoner in early 2018, who hosted dance classes and a Q&A and lunch for participants. Also in 2018, we introduced the Interview Like the Pros 2-day workshop, which includes one classroom day and one lab, where kids get hands-on experience interviewing celebrities in a variety of situations.

For more about the Find Your Voice Center and workshop offerings, visit FYVcenter.org.

The mission of the Jennifer Smart Foundation has evolved as we continue to work closely with the community. We are dedicated to encouraging effective communication in youth and adults, by providing workshops and other experiences that allow them to share their life-changing messages with a broader audience.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the foundation relies on the generous support of individuals and businesses to make a difference in our community and the world. Click here to learn how you can support us in our mission.