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Naima Porter-Sparks Receives 2019 True Blue Award

April 2019

Valerie Naima Porter SparksBuffalo, New York native Naima Porter-Sparks is Spelman College's 2019 True Blue award recipient.

Before arriving at Spelman over a decade ago, Porter-Sparks' career included serving as a confidential aide and the assistant to the 1st deputy commissioner for the divisions of Adoption, Foster Care, and Child Protective Services for the Erie County Department of Social Services in New York. In this role, she managed administrative responsibilities, handled secure and sensitive communications, and served as a liaison between her department and out-of-state agencies. Upon relocating, she brought her passion for purposeful work to the College and initially served as administrative assistant for campaign events. 

Porter-Sparks' colleagues say she has a spirit that can both soothe a soul and propel passion. Her efficiency is sought after and she is able to engage and empower others with a signature calm, care and astute professionalism. Whether is with members of her family, her church, or her colleagues in Rockefeller Hall, she listens. This gift gives her the ability to connect and cultivate relationships that are much more meaningful.  

In her current role for just under eleven years, Porter-Sparks' work as the executive assistant to the vice president for institutional advancement for Spelman intricately connects constituents to opportunities to support the financial growth and stability of the College, and ultimately students, programs, and resources. Her daily responsibilities include preparing, equipping, and supporting the team that travels throughout the country to create connections, cultivate donors and stewards of the College.

She connects with many by phone and email, and while they get a sense of the joy she brings to campus, those who see her regularly can attest that she is a breath of fresh air. Voted friendliest senior and pep squad captain in high school, this former model and modeling agency founder is sure to be beautifully and elegantly styled, have a thoughtful word or simply communicate in a way that motivates and inspires.

Accepting the role as lead usher at many of Spelman’s special events, Porter-Sparks has shared the best of Spelman with notable guests such as Stevie Wonder, Samuel L. Jackson, and India Arie. She was honored as the Administrative Professional of the Year in 2012 and her colleagues would surely say they knew True Blue was on the way. With a passion for the good of Spelman, Naima Porter-Sparks leads by example, undeniably sparking joy and demonstrating "True Blue.”

She serves an amazing church family at First Iconium Baptist Church, alongside her husband, Rev. Heshimu J. D. Sparks, who serves associate pastor. In addition to her family and church, she enriches the lives of girls in her community through mentoring and etiquette classes. She has also enriched Spelman College, creating a far-reaching true-blue impact that is felt by colleagues, constituents, and the greater Spelman College community, both within and beyond the gates.

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