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Aisha Arrington Leads From the Front, Advocating for People in Need

By Whitney Brimfield | July 7, 2021

On Aisha Arrington’s first day at the LTC Ombudsman Program, an organization that advocates for people who live in long term care, she wrote on a piece of paper that her dream was to become the Executive Director and “lead from the front.” She folded the note up and placed it in her desk. Within…

For Renee Ligon, Adversity Can Be a Catalyst for Positive Change

By Spark Point | June 23, 2021

After a successful 20-year career in commercial banking, Renee Ligon moved from Florida back to her native Ohio and pivoted to community-centered work. In a perfect melding of her banking experience and her desire to make a difference, she served as the Regional Director of the Urban League of Greater Cleveland’s Minority Business Assistance Center.…

Muriel Smith’s Love Letters to St. Louis Families

By Spark Point | June 9, 2021

In many ways, Muriel Smith always knew she’d find her way to a career in nonprofit — in her ideal world, even leading one. Now, as Executive Director at the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank, she’s not only realizing her dream, but working with an incredible team and community to ensure local families’ basic needs…

Janece Kleban is an Innovator and Solution-Maker

By Spark Point | May 27, 2021

For Janece Kleban, fundraising and working in development for non-profits was in her blood. Her mother is a consultant and does strategic planning for both local and national organizations, so Janece was able to see firsthand how this type of work impacts everyone in the community. During college, she led her collegiate chapter for Habitat…

Kimberly Bryant is Inspiring Young Women to Dream Silicon Valley Big

By Spark Point | May 12, 2021

By 2010, Kimberly Bryant had built a successful career working as an electrical engineer in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. Around that time she began exploring other options and started to look at opportunities through the lens of an entrepreneur. The more networking and circulating among new spaces she did, the more she noticed the…

Anna Barber Pivots from Athletics to Helping Black Organizations Excel

By Spark Point | April 21, 2021

As a lifelong competitive swimmer, Anna Barber started her undergraduate degree at Howard University knowing that she wanted to pursue a career as an athletic director. After graduating, she headed to Arizona State University where she continued to lay the groundwork for a future in athletics — and earned her law degree.  “I worked as…

Dr. Crystal James promotes patient well-being — and diversity in medicine

By Spark Point | April 9, 2021

Representation is key to improving tomorrow’s physician landscape Dr. Crystal James started her undergraduate career with her sights set on medical school and both researching and practicing medicine — and she’s never veered from the course. Being accepted to Boston University’s Early Medical School Selection Program (EMSSP) as a college sophomore, she says, only deepened…

Dr. Michelle Edwards is Transforming Lives with Experiential Learning

By Spark Point | March 24, 2021

As a lifelong teacher, Dr. Michelle Edwards knows the importance of writing, reading, and math as a foundation for learning. But the real transformation, she says, happens outside the classroom. “Yes, you can learn within the four walls of your school, but that’s just the beginning,” she says.“If we want children, especially black and brown…

Tamela Aldridge on Transforming Children’s Lives Through the Power of Play

By Spark Point | March 17, 2021

Now more than ever, creative play is key — and Tamela is setting the stage “I like the power of storytelling. I like the power of being able to imagine something different,” says Tamela Aldridge. “Because if you can imagine it, you can make it happen.” Tamela is the Executive Director of Only Make Believe…

Natalie Grandison is Making Careers in STEM More Accessible

By Spark Point | March 10, 2021

For Natalie Grandison, personal success is certainly something to celebrate, but positively impacting the lives of others in your work is where the real magic lies. “Always advocate for yourself and advocate for others,” says Natalie, Director of Engineering Initiatives at the A. James & Alice B. Clark Foundation, which provides members of the DC…

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