We are a passionate, innovative and collaborative team focused on celebrating students and promoting possibility.
Salina is a UC San Diego alumna with a bachelor’s degree in Social Psychology and a minor in Education Studies. During her undergraduate years, she gained experience working closely with young students as a mentor and a teacher’s aide. After returning to the Bay Area, she began her career as a Registered Behavior Technician in providing direct therapy to children with Autism. Salina values the opportunity for growth and continuous learning, and is excited to be able to develop her skills and follow her passion for developing students with Spark. She hopes to attend graduate school in the near future and investigate the intersection of psychology and mental health in the education system.
Robin M. Keefe was the founder and President of BookEnds. Through her passionate and focused leadership, Robin developed a community of people to grow BookEnds as a distinguished Los Angeles leader in introducing children to philanthropy as they worked to fill the barren bookshelves in their neighborhood schools and youth organizations. More than one million children learned the power of community service through the donation of over three million books to create nearly 700 libraries throughout Los Angeles.
BookEnds’ programs were successfully transitioned into three nonprofit organizations in 2015 to drive scale and economy in support of the national initiative for sustainable nonprofit organizations.
Robin then assumed the position of Interim CEO for The Beauty Bus Foundation and then for Karma Rescue, tasked with reorganizing these emerging nonprofit organizations to position them for strength and scale in the delivery of their missions.
Robin’s early career was in the real estate development and finance field, including industrial brokerage, corporate site acquisition for a national bank and a national restaurant chain and commercial real estate development. But she found a growing passion for philanthropy and children as she served on numerous community boards of directors. Robin joined these passions in 1998 with the founding of BookEnds.
Robin continues to focus her passion on the development of our youth in community service. She is an active participant and guest lecturer at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Policy and Pepperdine University’s School of Business and Communication, engaging students in entrepreneurial nonprofit leadership. Robin has served on the boards of directors of 14 diverse nonprofit organizations.
Among her numerous honors is her most cherished: “The Angel Award for Service” presented to Robin by Oprah Winfrey.
Robin graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, Finance and a minor in Art History. Robin joined Spark in the Bay Area as Executive Director in 2018.
Nicole is a New York native, who came to San Francisco in July of 2018 after graduating from Binghamton University with her B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature. She will also complete her M.A. in Public Administration in December 2018. Nicole has worked in development in a variety of capacities, including fundraising for her alma mater. She hopes to one day attend law school and continue working to promote a more equitable society.
A Chicago native, Lucy moved to the Bay Area to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Throughout her four years at Cal, she worked closely with the Youth Support Program, an organization that builds one-on-one mentoring relationships between UCB and Willard Middle School students. While at YSP, her eyes were opened to the multitude of opportunities mentoring introduces not only to the students being mentored, but for mentors as well. She is passionate about bridging gaps between geographically near, yet culturally disparate, communities, and believes strongly that increasing exposure and familiarity within diverse spaces is critical to promote social change. So, when an opportunity at Spark popped up on her computer screen, she knew this was the place she wanted to be!
Sam is an East Coast native, who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and began her career as an AmeriCorps Urban Education fellow in New York City. Then she packed her bags and shipped off to the Bay Area where she worked as an Account Coordinator at a PR agency, honing her skills as a communicator, problem-solver and corporate partner liaison. Her experience with youth spans tutoring, after school program instruction and teaching yoga. She’s passionate about the power of education and relationship-building to bridge communities. She’s eager to spread her zest for social equity to the West Coast and to Spark stakeholders.
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