Our Team

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The Spark Team

We are a passionate, innovative and collaborative team focused on celebrating students and promoting possibility.

Cassidy Leighton
Heather Lewis
Deirdre Hake
Jordan Broutman

Cassidy Leighton
Development & Communications Coordinator

Cassidy’s passions for education and building community connections drew her to Spark. She earned her Teacher’s Certification and BA in History from Dickinson College before teaching Social Studies to ninth grade students in Carlisle, PA. Prior to joining Spark, she served two years as an AmeriCorps Member with City Year Philadelphia. In her roles with City Year, she mentored middle school students and planned large-scale school beautification volunteer events across the city.

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Heather Lewis
Senior Program Manager

A South Bronx native and graduate of Haverford College in the Greater Philadelphia area, Heather commits to program excellence! Her own experience having strong mentors open doors to a top-notch education experience inspired her to dedicate her career to helping youth realize their full potential. Prior to joining Spark, Heather honed her skills in education, volunteer management, and strategic partnerships through service with City Year Greater Philadelphia and AmeriCorps VISTA, and through helping Community Partnership School advance its mission to provide a high quality education to children in North Philadelphia. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, cooking, doing yoga, and working not to injure herself while running! 

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Deirdre Hake
Executive Director

A results-driven community leader with a proven track record, Deirdre works to grow support for Spark in Philadelphia,  oversees program execution and expands regional partnerships.  Deirdre is familiar with the education and mentoring sectors having spent more than six years in a variety of roles with Big Brothers Big Sisters Southeastern PA.  Her background directly supporting children and mentors, as well as building corporate and school partnerships, provides a solid foundation for her career evolution into development, events and annual giving. Deirdre also served as Program Director at Great Dames, Inc. and obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Pennsylvania State University. With a passion for people, process and organizational growth, Deirdre will help Spark create sustainable impact in the Philadelphia region.

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Jordan Broutman
Manager of Corporate Partnerships

An Illinois native and College of Wooster graduate, Jordan ensures strong implementation of the Spark Program at our Philadelphia partner schools. Prior to coming to Spark, Jordan developed his passion for empowering youth through his service as a City Year Philadelphia AmeriCorps member. He served as a student tutor and team leader over a period of two years. While working within Philadelphia schools through his service, Jordan observed first-hand the importance of both project-based and social-emotional learning for middle school students. In his free time he enjoys running, playing violin, and watching the Chicago Cubs.

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Philadelphia Board Members

Executive Board
Jeffrey Ryan, Senior Vice President of Professional Operations and Business Development, Cancer Treatment Centers of America - Eastern Regional Medical Center Jessica Mulholland, Chief Financial Officer, Exude Inc. Melissa Govette, Vice President, Commercial Real Estate, M&T Bank Paul Melchiorre, Chief Revenue Officer, Anaplan Valerie Brown, Employment Counsel, Comcast Cable
Advisory Board
Abraham El, Advisory Board Chairperson: Staff Engineer, Pennoni Associates Alison Rikson, Advisory Board Vice Chairperson: Audit Senior Manager – AERS, Deloitte & Touche LLP Atul Deshmukh, Senior Manager, Solution Delivery, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Bunny Tucker, Intern Architect, KieranTimberlake Associates Gianna Tripodi-Bhise, Director, Foundation & Corporate Relations, WHYY Michael Zullo, Advisory Board Chairperson Emeritus: Partner, Duane Morris LLP Regina Enriquez, Advisory Board Secretary: Real Estate Agent, Keller Williams Realty Inc. Robert Nieves, Operations Manager, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Teresa Lopez, Content Strategy Lead, SEER Interactive

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