#MentorMonday: Christine Pennington

Uncategorized Jul 13, 2020

This week's #MentorMonday is Christine Pennington (@cakesniffings)! Christine is an awesome Teen Librarian with a spark for helping and educating others through creativity. Read how she nurtures her spark below! 

What would you define as your spark; that thing that makes you feel most
alive, your passion, dream or purpose?
My spark comes from curating, creating, and cheering others on! Creativity is big
for me, not just from an artistic side but also in the form of problem solving. And
I’ve always had a love for encouraging, teaching, and learning from other people.
Do you have an interesting idea or passion you are interested in? I’m your
person - let’s explore it!

How did you find your spark?
I have always liked collecting things and grouping them by category. When I was
in the third grade, my friend and I had a collection of snails that we kept in order
by size. I wasn’t so much into the snails as she was, but I was happy to help her
because she was so excited...

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#MentorMonday: Gina Ender

Uncategorized Jul 06, 2020

Happy Monday! For today's #MentorMonday, we're featuring the incredible Gina Ender (@ginaender)! Read how Gina uses her mighty strong spark of writing and reporting to inform, uplift, and amplify the stories of her neighbors and those outside her community. 

What would you define as your spark; that thing that makes you feel most alive, your passion, dream or purpose?

My spark is using my voice as a writer to equip and empower communities with timely and truthful information and stories. When we know what’s happening in our neighborhoods, we get a better understanding and appreciation for who our neighbors are and why their experiences matter. Whether I’m writing a speech for 10 people or 10 million people, my mission is to inform and uplift my audience. I love to spotlight inspiring residents in newsletters and on social media who are making our community better by using their talents and passions. When I learn about the people around me, I’m able to...

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#MentorMonday: Hannah Teachout

Uncategorized Jun 29, 2020

Today's #MentorMonday is writer Hannah Teachout (@hmteachout)! Read about her spark for storytelling, her writing process, and how she incorporates playfulness with writing below!

What would you define as your spark; that thing that makes you feel most alive, your passion, dream or purpose? Story is my spark, both in reading and listening to them but especially writing them and helping others find their own voice through writing.

I love that stories bring people together, build a sense of community and break down feelings of isolation. It's this love that means I always have book (or two or three) in my bag and a handful of notecards if an idea strikes.

How did you find your spark?

Stories have always been a part of me. I inhaled books when I was younger and nothing has changed. I studied communication in college because I believed if we could shape messages into narrative, we could relate to people. But writing my own stories only came about in the last couple years, after a...

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#MentorMonday: Chrissie Cheng

Uncategorized Jun 22, 2020

This #MentorMonday features graphic and UX designer Chrissie Cheng - who's also a part of the team at SparkVoice! Chrissie's spark intertwines storytelling with design in order to solve problems and make others' lives easier (or simply just to put a smile on their face). Read how she lives her spark below! 


What would you define as your spark; that thing that makes you feel most alive, your passion, dream or purpose?

My spark is helping others through storytelling and design. Whether it’s designing someone’s logo and website to get their small business going, designing an app to help solve a social justice issue, or designing a tiny post-it note just to make someone’s day, I love it all. My love for people drives me to design better products to make their lives easier. 

How did you find your spark?

Back in the early 2000s when MySpace was around, I was jealous that my sister could have an account and 9-year-old me could not. I decided to make my...

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#MentorMonday: Kaley Lindquist

Uncategorized Jun 15, 2020

Today’s #MentorMonday, we’re highlight Kaley Lindquist (@kaleylindquist)! Kaley’s the Director of SC initiatives at @Care2Foster, and for the last two years, has served as a foster parent to over 18 children. Read how she’s made it her mission to live outside her comfort zone and live out her spark by reading her story below!

What would you define as your spark; that thing that makes you feel most alive, your passion, dream or purpose?

My spark is risking my own comfort to have a sense of mission. I’ve always chosen to take (calculated and safe) risks- big and small- for the sake of growth, my own and others. The easy path never tempted me. I strive to make a difference in this world both in my personal and professional life. My biggest fear as a college student was to be ordinary, to never do something incredible. While I now live a mostly ordinary life and recognize the beauty in ordinary things, I always felt my life needed to have some higher...

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#MentorMonday: Rachel Yasukochi

Uncategorized Jun 08, 2020

For #MentorMonday, we’re featuring Rachel Yasukochi (@rachelanne90) whose spark has her living life on the wild side! Rachel educates people about wildlife animals and works with those animals every day. Read her story below! 

1. What would you define as your spark; that thing that makes you feel most alive, your passion, dream or purpose? 

My spark is nurturing and caring for animals, and helping others to fall in love with those animals. I love to make sure that the animals in my care have not only a clean and safe home, but also have enriching lives, with puzzles and toys to keep their minds and body healthy. I also love to watch people’s faces light up when they realize something they thought was gross or scary, is actually really amazing. 

2. How did you find your spark?

I was always drawn to animals. I was lucky to grow up with many pets, and to ride horses. It was a point of pride to make sure the animals in my life were always cared for, well...

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30 Ways To Use Playfulness for Wellness

When I trained in sexual assault and domestic violence prevention, our mentor told us every session at day’s end, that we needed to do something to care for our hearts and minds amidst all the heaviness of getting educated about violence against women. I often remember our mentor pointing to each of us at the end of the day’s training asking us what acts of beauty and self-care we would do to remember our passion for equality and safety and to remember the good in humanity. We had to commit to our intentional self-care plan out loud and promise ourselves to take care and carry on. 

At SparkVoice our June theme is PLAYFULNESS--no surprise for stepping into summer, but also an unsung tool for confidence-maintenance and well-being. Young people are hearing and living the heavy burdens of our world pandemic crisis and the US nation’s long-standing racial justice issues. This may be the most intense time to date in our kids’ communal and personal lives,...

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#MentorMonday: Marissa Black

#mentormonday Jun 01, 2020

We're launching #MentorMonday - posts highlighting incredible women in our #SparkVoice community, who actively chase their spark and nurture it. We hope these stories will not only introduce you to different sparks, but will encourage and inspire you to pursue your own. 

Today, we’re featuring Marissa Black (@marissablackmail), whose spark for cross-culture understanding led her to spend the last two years teaching high schoolers in Guyana and to be certified in teaching English as a second language. Read her story below!

What would you define as your spark, that thing that makes you feel most alive, your passion, dream or purpose?

One of my main sparks is building cross-cultural understanding. I am passionate about people from different backgrounds, cultures, and life experiences understanding one another better. I love (as in “get goosebumps” love) when people are exposed to different perspectives and worldviews and thus come to a deeper...

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4 Ways to Boost Your Resilience Right Now

Uncategorized Apr 04, 2020

When I coach teens and students coming up against blocks--emotional ones like feeling stuck or classic academic ones like writer’s blocks--we have a phrase-to-live-by that applies every time. “Give yourself what you need.” Before we can lean into work and life, we often need to acknowledge our emotions and unmet needs that are what’s actually behind the block. For writers we need to “compose ourselves before we compose.” For people facing crisis while also maintaining everyday life, we need to “get in tune with ourselves” and take stock of our emotions and where our minds and bodies need support.

Emotions are often telling us what we need and they try to work on our behalf. They are the messengers of how to grow resilience--when we respond to and regulate our emotions in healthy ways, we can know what we need and maintain our strength in order to expand our capacity to bounce back. We can use our voices to build resilience right...

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2020 Vision Check-In: The key question to be more BOLD and FOCUSED

Uncategorized Feb 18, 2020

There's a great phrase life coaches, therapists, personal growth fans, and friends-who-do-real-talk like to use. If a person shares how she's feeling stuck or experiencing drag in her life, this question may be her listener's response. If a person wants to overcome a bad pattern of living or step out of a harmful relationship, this question may be the zinger that brings clarity. 

"Is that SERVING YOU?" I love a good question, and I love a better question even more. When you experience drag or a big problem to tackle, the question is not, "Can't you get over it?" Or "Is it that big of a deal?" It’s the important question of: is that way of being or thinking or relationship SERVING YOU--moving you toward your purpose and goals? Is that friendship, job, book club, study habit, TV series, food, way of thinking, schedule, or persona you put on supporting you?

Instead of dealing on the surface level and getting stuck in OVERTHINKING that snag, antagonism or even major problem...

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