Our Team

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The Spark Team

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

Judy Spangler
Damontay Folwer-Thomas
Isabel Beck-Roe
McKenzie McFee

Judy Spangler
Interim Executive Director

Judy’s personal mission to level the playing field for children and youth has made a
tremendous impact on our communities for the past 30 years. Her extensive experience
in capacity building, innovative program development, and training facilitation have been
recognized nationally.

In over 20 years in leadership roles in the Big Brothers Big Sisters network, Judy was
instrumental in increasing mentoring capacity from 2600 to 4300 children served. One
of her most notable achievements is collaborating with other leadership team members
to develop, introduce, and grow the Beyond School Walls mentoring program. Since its
inception, Beyond School Walls has become a national model for BBBS for fundraising
and serving more children in a career-focused and impactful way.

Judy is a recognized expert on child safety and mentoring children of prisoners. She
has traveled across the country speaking on child safety and is regularly consulted for
her guidance in these areas. Judy believes strongly in the value of mentoring and has a wealth of knowledge to share on this topic. She facilitates engaging training sessions on it, has appeared on television and radio programs to discuss it, and in 2015, she spearheaded the launch of Mentor Independence Region, an affiliate of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, and peer support to over 135 community-based youth mentoring
organizations throughout Eastern PA.

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Damontay Folwer-Thomas
Program Fellow

Damontay is a homegrown product of Philadelphia with degrees from both Temple University (B.S.W) and University of Pennsylvania (M.S.W.) in Social Work. As a Philadelphia native, Damontay is looking to use his knowledge and experience within the Philadelphia School District to bring forth meaningful programming efforts to all students involved with Spark. Damontay has an intense passion for student success and student well-being. He has been able hone these skills through a wide-array of roles related to urban education throughout his college tenure. Damontay has become widely known for his ability to quickly build rapport with students and work-alongside stakeholders to frame solutions to communal needs. 
 
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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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McKenzie McFee
Volunteer Manager

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

Akua Maat
Program Manager

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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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, Senior Counsel, Holland & Knight LLP
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, Senior Counsel, Holland & Knight LLP

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