Interviewing Emerging Spark Leaders
What brought you to the Spark Ventures community originally and what motivated you to get more involved at the leadership level?
Alyson: I was originally connected to the spark community through my job at LPP. This provided me the opportunity to travel to Zambia in January and July of 2017. The impact of this experience, the new perspective that I gained, and most importantly the relationships within the Spark community motivated me to get more involved and eventually join the Associate Board.
Lindsay: Ryan Jeffery overheard me discussing the lack of travel experience and purpose I was feeling in my life and so he suggested I check out Spark Ventures. I instantly fell in love with the business model and mission. After a few months of being a member the opportunity presented itself to be on the YPS board and I couldn’t pass it up. I knew this would get me one step closer to traveling with Spark. I also was wanting to exercise creativity and I had the opportunity to do it by being on the Events and Marketing Committee.
What are you most excited about in Spark’s near future?
Alyson: I am most excited about the future completion of the library at Hope and for the incredible opportunities that it will generate both in the short and long term there. As Spark enters its second decade, I am excited about the new initiatives known, and not yet known, that lie ahead, and the motivation and support within the community to put those wheels in motion.
Lindsay: I am excited about our new partnership with San Pancho, Mexico. I believe having more partnerships and experiences will attract more people to get involved in our mission.
Lindsay, I know you’ve traveled to Nicaragua – what was the most memorable part of engaging with Las Tías on that journey?
Lindsay: Seeing how they’ve created this safe place for the children to gather, improve, and have a chance at a healthy childhood. We got to experience a home visit with one of the girls from Las Tias. She had experienced domestic violence in her home and it had impacted her performance in the classroom, her health both mentally and physically, and her spirit. Hearing the story from her mother’s point of view while her daughter was listening was heart-wrenching. However, it was because of Las Tias’ program that she was able to jump to the top percentile in her school, her health improved, and she was able to regain her confidence and childlike attitude. We rode back to Las Tias with her and sang and danced to Justin Beiber’s Despacito and it was the most amazing experience that I will never ever forget.
Alyson, I know you’ve been to Zambia twice now, what are you most excited about when you think about re-visiting Hope?