Jodi Sparkman

Professional Mentor "Friend"

Jodi was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan and studied art at Michigan State. Her love of rock climbing and the outdoors led her to move to the west coast. She and her husband moved to Washington and raised two kids in the Vancouver Public Schools.

Her love of working with kids led her to working as a paraeducator in an elementary school and then a middle school Structured Communication Classroom for Autism-impacted youth. While working with kids in a school environment was deeply fulfilling to her, it was her volunteer role as a CASA that felt most impactful. As a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) working with kids in foster care, Jodi saw first-hand the destabilizing influence that generational poverty can have for kids, compounded by other environmental stressors. She saw the powerful impact that even a single supportive relationship can have and the amazing resilience that kids are capable of. Jodi is thrilled to be working with Friends of the Children - SW Washington where she can be THAT person, partnering with families and watching kids become their strongest self, building the lives they want to live.

In her free time, she enjoys walking Vancouver trails with her dog Charlie, finding adventures in the Pacific Northwest, studying yoga, moonlighting as a florist, reading, gardening, cooking, and hanging out with her family and friends.