Empowered Sparks: Every Spark Starts With A Match

by Alana Allen | November 15th, 2014

DSC_8552 - CopyThere’s a local organization in the city of Greensboro who sees, understands, and wants to instill in young girls the importance of having self-confidence and to help them recognize and bring about a sense of belonging, accomplishment, and fulfillment. This organization is the Empowered Sparks, Inc. Donna Foxx, founder and executive director of the organization, spearheaded this organization after a discussion she had with her granddaughter, who expressed an interest in becoming involved in a “girls club.” After several disappointing phone calls, Ms. Foxx discovered there were no ideal programs—at least not any that she felt would provide her granddaughter with the essential ingredients for growing and developing into a dynamic young lady.

Ms. Foxx is very passionate about inspiring girls to believe in themselves and walking in their God-given destiny. So she began collaborating with her best friend and co-founder, Barbara Hawley, about the dream of starting an organization for girls. Ultimately, they assumed the title, “Blaze,” while their husbands were dubbed, “Match.” After all, how can you start a fire without a “Match?” On April 25, 2010, “The Sparks” (Smart, Prepared Adolescents Reaching for Knowledge and Success) was born. Eight girls and their big sisters, aka “Flames,” were inducted by candlelight ceremony into “The Sparks.” The organization became incorporated in June 2010 with a new name, “Empowered Sparks.” As they moved forward in this quest for a program for young girls, they formed a board of directors and appointed officers for the board. In December 2010, they received their official IRS 501c 3 nonprofit tax-exempt status.

The Empowered Sparks, Inc. is an educational, skill building, creative organization designed to introduce girls to concepts and skills that promote positive self-esteem. The organization encourages girls to challenge social rules and media messages that diminish a girl’s sense of self-worth as they move from adolescence to adulthood. “I like being in the Empowered Sparks because it teaches me how to be a lady, and help me go toward the right path in life”, says nine-year-old, Niobe.

The group’s activities are centered around promoting awareness and helping to increase the girls’ knowledge base on how to cope with and overcome potential upcoming teen challenges. Through a connection to inner resources, girls explore ways to unleash, promote and claim a healthy connection to themselves, their peers, and the community. Currently, they have 30 members from the ages of 8-18.
Their mentors who are called, “Flames” are very essential because they serve as the big sister’s to the girls in the program.

Donna Fox and the Empowered Sparks Team (Photo by Perfect Lenz Photography)

Donna Fox and the Empowered Sparks Team (Photo by Perfect Lenz Photography)

Makailah, a Flame says, “We set the examples and we are the role models that the girls look up to. When the girls have an issue that they are dealing with, many of them come to us. The “Flames” are here to lead and guide them through their experiences of growing up, because many of them may feel uncomfortable speaking with someone else. Throughout the years I have seen the growth in the girls, watched them mature, it feels special to know that I could be a part of that.”

Nile, 13 says, “My experience with the empowered sparks has been really fun, I’ve been to a Grasshopper game, I’ve learned how to waltz and attended my first cotillion — that was fun! The women in the program have introduced us to new opportunities in life and have taught us how to be queens and that’s the most important thing we need to learn right now.”

The driving force behind this organization is their relationship with God. They inspire their young girls with God’s Word recorded in Philippians 4:13 which states, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.” In 2015, the Empowered Sparks will be celebrating their fifth year of operation with the theme, “Inspiring Hope Through Leadership and Mentorship.” They meet bi-monthly through April and are planning to make this a phenomenal year! Look for the Empowered Sparks in the Greensboro Jaycees Holiday Parade on December 6.

The Empowered Sparks are currently seeking community support to raise funds for the “Every Spark Start With A Match” Crowd Funding Fundraiser for the “Bobby L. Foxx Memorial Scholarship Fund,” and their summer leadership camp.

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