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SPARC exists to Strengthen after-school Programs through Advocacy, Resources and Collaboration.

Fort Worth SPARC began as a collaboration with the City of Fort Worth in 2012.  Now housed at Tarrant County United Way and available to partner with all local ISD, Charter and Private Schools, after-school providers and community leaders within Tarrant County's 903 square miles.   Each partnership with SPARC is formed to advocate for exceptional after-school programs and to serve as a resource for parents and providers.


Our job is to provide and project quality training and education for educators, parents and community leaders.  Our ultimate goal is to ensure equity and excellence in OST programming, Tarrant County Classrooms and within our community. The goal is to build a network for all ages of our 250,000 youth encompassing Tarrant County.  The end result will create a stronger citizenry for decades to come.  Our belief is that a collaborative OST network will drive the evolution of a Better Tarrant County into an Optimal Tarrant County!


OST programs include before and after school, summer, weekend and holiday programs, which are known to promote academic improvement, social development and mental health.


With funding from The Wallace Foundation, Sid Richardson Foundation, Amon Carter Foundation, The Ryan Foundation, The Molyneaux Foundation, The NFL, NBA player Myles Turner's "A Penny for your Thoughts" foundation,The National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum, The Andy Roddick Foundation, The Community Foundation of Texas and individual donors,  Fort Worth SPARC energizes and strengthens OST programs through:


  • Advocacy – advocate for funding and developing exceptional OST programs in Tarrant County.

  • Resources – serve as a resource for parents seeking OST programs and delivering parents, community members and providers with  professional development and education on "cutting edge" topics impacting youth.

  • Collaboration – build partnerships with key stakeholders, parents and organizations.


SPARC will accomplish this through three initiatives:​

  • Equity and Excellence in Out-of-School Time programming

  • Training and professional development - SPARC Signature Speaker Series

  • Governing body - A Board of 9 diverse Tarrant County leaders.


All Children will have equitable access to excellent quality after-school programs that promote intellectual, creative and healthy development leading to engaged and productive citizens.


To strengthen after-school programs through Advocacy, Resources and Collaboration in the highest acuity of need students within Tarrant County.


  • We have a children-centered focus

  • We strategically deliver resources to our highest acuity of need students

  • We are a small organization designed to pivot rapidly to triage and assess serious challenges in our high needs youth.

  • We are committed to data-driven decision-making

  • We are committed to continuous quality improvement

  • We are committed to a diverse set of stakeholders

  • We continuously engage our stakeholders

  • We seek ongoing support from stakeholders and providers


  • ​To advance the safest and highest-quality service in after-school programs

  • To advocate for those we serve with honesty and mutual respect

  • To ensure quality programming through continuous learning and shared knowledge

  • To honor diversity and inclusiveness

  • To uphold the highest level of stewardship with our funds and resources

  • To be open, ethical and transparent in how we serve and operate

  • To be supportive and cooperative in all collaborations and partnerships

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Staff & Board


The innovative and dedicated professionals at SPARC come from a variety of backgrounds, but all share a passion for serving the children, youth and families of Fort Worth.

Tobi Jackson
Executive Director

Tobi Jackson is a veteran of diverse academic and corporate environments, this dynamic and energetic outcomes-driven leader brings a unique blend of technical and interpersonal abilities to the team.  As a respected community leader, she is solutions oriented, with absolute strengths in leadership, team development, crisis management/stabilization and analysis.  


 During her professional career, she has served the spectrum in education, from K-12 to adult,  as a faculty member, administrator and volunteer in public, private and corporate arenas.  A strong advocate for youth with over three decades of community service, Jackson holds a B.A. in Education from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Master of Science in Physiology from the University of North Texas.  ​

The Fort Worth SPARC nine member Board of Directors was established to represent the organization’s best interests within the community, to ensure Fort Worth SPARC is on track to meet goals and to develop policies in support of optimizing opportunity for A L L children.   

Fort Worth SPARC and MYPhi, led by Dr. Yolande Pengetnze partner on specific pediatric health challenges.

Kathleen Powderly, MD President

     Pediatrician - Private Practice

Pablo Calderon Vice President

     Extensive experience working with non-profit, governmental agencies and citizen groups.

Molly Hyry, Treasurer

     Educator and Community Leader


Vicki Ray, Secretary

      Biotech and Pharmaceutical Professional, Community Volunteer

      Nationally accaimed collegiate baton twirling coach

John Gales, Jr.

      Business Owner, Entrepreneur, Event Coordinator, Motivational Speaker, Recording Artist

Mervil Johnson

      Workforce Solutions, Workforce Collaboration Manager

          Fatherhood and Community Collaborator

Tiesa Leggett

      North Texas Commission - VP Governmental Affairs

Mary Emily Pardue

      Occupational Therapist, Community Volunteer

Susie Reyes

       Independent Consultant

       Reyes Consulting


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