Board Involvement:
Jessica Mulholland, CFO

Jessica Mulholland serves on two boards, Spark and National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI). Spark’s mission is to support middle school students in undeserved areas by partnering them with mentorship in the workplace. Spark’s goal is to show kids their potential by exposing them to different organizations and careers, something that every child should have the opportunity to experience. Jessica explained that it’s a “possibility movement” where children are paired with a mentor for 16 weeks and taken to the workplace to build skills, relationships, and complete a project to showcase their talents.

Sparks’ mission resonated with Jessica because she loved the idea of teaching and engaging with kids who wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to be mentored. Mentors are incredibly beneficial and research shows that middle school is a crucial time for children and their development. Jessica jumped at the opportunity to help change these kids’ lives for the better. She said, she really believes in using “education as a tool and everyone should have the same options and opportunities”. Through working with Spark, Jessica is making this more of a possibility. Since this is a relatively small board, each member holds different responsibilities. These include fundraising, engaging corporate partners to work with the Spark team, developing strategy, and creating budgets. In addition, Exude has partnered with Spark and brought students here to work with and mentor them.

The second board that Jessica is a part of is called National Disease Research Interchange. NDRI’s mission is to provide human bio-specimens to advance biomedical research and development worldwide. Jessica believes this mission is extremely powerful in terms of advancing science and helping the medical community progressthrough their findings. She is on the finance and audit committee, as well as provides support and guidance to their internal finance team. Jessica says that “the work they do is amazing, helping researchers find cures for long term diseases… [I am] in awe by what they do”. Since it is a slightly unfamiliar topic to her, she’s found her involvement as a great learning opportunity.

When asked why joining a board is significant to her, Jessica said that “it’s important to give back and connect with the community that we live in”. She is passionate about providing opportunities to schools and students that otherwise wouldn’t have them. Being part of a non-profit board has given her a new lens and perspective to help make a significant impact in her community.