Our Team

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The Spark Team

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

Isabel Beck-Roe
Sophie Finn
McKenzie McFee
Akua Maat

Isabel Beck-Roe
Partnership Coordinator

Isabel Beck-Roe is working for Spark as a Quaker Voluntary Service Fellow, having been drawn to Spark for its dedication to empowerment and exploration.  She recently graduated from Macalester College where she studied Geography, Music, and French, and where she also had the opportunity to learn about nonprofit fundraising through her work with the school and other local organizations. Youth programming has also emerged as a priority for Isabel from her work with after-school programs and summer camps.

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Sophie Finn
Program Fellow

Sophie Finn joins our team as a recent graduate of Arcadia University’s master’s program for Educational Leadership. Prior to working with Spark, she approached education from several different perspectives. In South Korea, Sophie taught English to elementary school children. Returning to the U.S. to gain her master’s degree, Sophie worked at an immigration law firm where she witnessed the legal and economic impacts of restrictive immigration laws on families, students, and children. After graduation, she worked in behavioral health to better understand how trauma-informed care can influence a student’s educational experience. Sophie believes education, provided through an equitable and culturally-aware lens, can be a powerful tool for change in our society. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, spending time with loved ones, and listening to live music.

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McKenzie McFee
Senior Program Fellow

McKenzie’s passion for positive youth development and education lead her to Spark. She is a Delaware native and holds a Bachelors of Science in Applied Psychology from New York University. During her time in New York City, McKenzie volunteered with many New York City public schools working with students ranging from Pre-School to High School. McKenzie is excited to bring her past experience into her role as a Spark Fellow and continue to make a positive impact. 

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Akua Maat
Program Fellow

Akua Maat recently graduated from Wake Forest University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Latin and Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. After college, she wanted to contribute to the fight for education equity and moved to Philadelphia to complete a year of service with City Year Philadelphia. In her role as a tutor and mentor in a 9th grade English class she developed a greater passion for working with students and supporting youth development beyond the classroom. Akua brings this passion and her experience working within Philadelphia public schools to her role as a Program Fellow with Spark.

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Cassidy Leighton
Heather Lewis-Weber
Deirdre Hake

Cassidy Leighton
Development Manager

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-Weber
Program Director

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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Philadelphia Board Members

Executive Board
Christopher Rosenbleeth, Chair, Real Estate and Partner, Real Estate and Finance, Stradley Ronon 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, Chair Emeritus: Staff Engineer, Pennoni Associates Alison Rikson, Board Chair: Senior Manager, Audit & Assurance Learning, Deloitte & Touche LLP Atul Deshmukh, Senior Manager, Solution Delivery, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Bunny Tucker, Intern Architect, DIGSAU Gianna Tripodi-Bhise, Board Vice Chair, Director, Foundation & Corporate Relations, WHYY Jamye LambornDesigner, Gensler Kai Lee, Associate - Customer Solutions, KPMG Robert Nieves, Operations Manager, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Sara Ridenour, Associate Principal, Ballinger Teresa Lopez, Content Strategy Lead, SEER Interactive
Board of Directors
Valerie Brown, Employment Counsel, Comcast Cable

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