Lucy Vigilant-Smith was a native of La Plaine, Dominica (Nature’s Island) born January 18, 1963. She moved to New York City as a young adult to further her education and build a better life for her family. Lucy received a Bachelors in Economics, a Masters in Public Administration, and a Masters in Elementary Education. With an unwavering passion for improving her community through promoting literacy and sociocultural development, Lucy Vigilant-Smith was the epitome of a servant leader. She was a librarian and teacher in the New York City Public School System. Lucy was devoted professionally and personally to making sure every child in her community had the opportunity to be successful in school and in life. She always referred to all of the students as “our children.” She provided staff development for teachers, mentored students on social and emotional needs, hosted regular parent engagement and enrichment events using library resources, and sponsored programs such as health fairs, career days, and reading motivation programs.
Defined by her quiet perseverance and tenacity, Lucy authored and secured grants for various school projects such as, The School Library, The School Recycling Program, School Garden, and The Student Mentoring Program. Lucy also led the student council on educational trips enforcing life skills, which in turn aided in the development of the children in her stewardship.
She was an impeccable advocate for equitable health, assisting doctors in providing necessary and quality health care for those in need in the Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Venezuela, and West Africa, to name a few.
Ms. Vigilant-Smith inspired an infectious tenacity in others to tackle issues head-on and strive to become leaders and champions. Lucy was dedicated to her community as the Park Hill Residents’ Association President. She helped sustain the Park Hill Beautiful Project, annual Tag Sales, Garden Tours, the annual residents’ meetings through COVID-19, and the Park Hill Community newsletter for the past nine years. With a desire to connect families in the community through reading, she installed and managed Little Free Libraries on the sidewalk in front of her home and school that circulates hundreds of donated books monthly. She also collected new and used books in her school slated for recycling to be sent instead to Air Jamaica’s Kids Club in Montego Bay, and the College of Hospitality and Vocational Skills in Ocho Rios. Making her mission of literacy an international venture.
Apropos to being a native of Nature’s Island, Lucy was a Garden Master. More than her thumbs, Lucy’s whole hands were green. She could make anything grow. She ushered friends, families, and visitors through her lush flower and vegetable gardens to instill awe and wonder of nature and the responsibility we all share as caretakers to restore and maintain the balance God intended for Earth.
Her generous spirit and unwavering dedication to her work are self-evident from the numerous success stories shared about her incredible impact on her students, fellow teachers, associates, and children in our community. Lucy exemplified selflessness, enthusiasm, courage, compassion, and perseverance; traits proven to be essential keys to her success as an effective leader. At the heart of Lucy’s life is her spirituality, her deep faith in God, and her constant nourishing of a hopeful heart. Recently, Lucy was honored by the Westchester County legislator for her leadership and advocacy for women through a proclamation of recognition.
Lucy Vigilant-Smith, 59, went on to be with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on March 26, 2022 peacefully surrounded by family and friends after a brief illness. Her loving heart leaves a beacon of light for her family and community. Lucy is survived by her husband, Dwight Smith, mother Bertina Lestrade, sisters, Slyvia Pedereaux, Mavis Drigo and Shermaine Drigo, brothers Angus Drigo and Michael Drigo, her son Eugene Harrigan, daughter Antoinette Gibson, grandchildren Makayla and Makenzie Harrigan, and a host of beloved friends and family.