Guest: Jackie Latek, Executive Director of the SPARC Foundation

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Jackie Latek is the Executive Director of the SPARC Foundation. She has twenty years of leadership experience in community mental health and non-profit organizations. Since 2013, Jackie has grown the SPARC Foundation from an operation of three staff focused on one service to an organization with an operating budget of $1.5 million partnering with criminal justice services, domestic violence prevention initiatives and the department of social services. SPARC’s mission is to ignite connections to education, employment and mentorship to strengthen the well-being and personal freedom of people and families in need. These services are provided to individuals and families in their home community to prevent institutional care such as incarceration, foster care, or other high end residential services. SPARC currently offers the following services: intensive case management to individuals returning from incarceration to support with obtaining employment and overcoming numerous barriers to integrating back to the community; a focus on safety of domestic violence survivors by providing offender services aimed at education and behavior change; and Family Centered Treatment to children and families at risk of disruption or in need of reunification. Due to her experience and services developed, Jackie participates in county leadership commissions focused on violence reduction and community healing.

As Chief Operating Officer for six years prior, Jackie was responsible for the management, service delivery, customer relations, financial projections, programmatic goals and program certifications for an agency that became known as the premier child mental health provider for nine counties in Western North Carolina, with an operating budget of nine million dollars.

Early career highlights include volunteer work in Angola, Africa through Catholic Relief Services where she taught English as a second language as well as completed grant reports for hospital projects. Maintaining flexibility and a positive attitude in an oppressive and war-ravaged environment informs her work for American families living in over-burdened, under-resourced and often violent communities.

Jackie is a certified trainer in the Community Resiliency Model and has completed WNC Pathways Non-Profit Leadership program. As the adoptive parent of three children who spent their early lives in foster care, Jackie has a well-rounded perspective of the challenges children and families face in the foster care system.

For more information or to connect with the SPARC Foundation visit https://thesparcfoundation.org/

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