When Maya Smith-Dolana was four years old, she wrote her first book, titled The Detective Work, Volume 1.
Maya would continue to be an avid writer and reader throughout her youth. She wanted to be a novelist and so decided to major in creative writing at the University of Arizona. In 2019, Maya was about to begin her junior year when she died tragically at the age of 19 in a car crash after returning from babysitting.
Maya’s mom, Jessica – with additional donations from family and friends – has established the Maya Smith Creative Writing Endowment Fund in the Department of English to help students and to honor Maya’s passion for words and stories.