Jackie Adams, an agent for change, serves to protect and inspire future generations of girls and women. With support from her family, she put herself though college (one summer was spent working as a computer intern during the day and as a waitress by night) and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). Soon after graduation, she served for two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania, Africa teaching high school math in Swahili. This experience solidified her desire to serve and woke in her a passion to empower the young females who did not have the opportunity to improve their own life situation.
After returning to the U.S, she worked first for Philips and then STERIS training technicians to fix medical equipment in hospitals. She was the first female to be hired as a technical trainer during STERIS/Amsco’s 100+ year history. During her spare time, she also founded and became the President of Tareto Maa USA, a U.S.-based nonprofit that spreads awareness about the harms of Female Genital Cutting (FGC) and fund raises to support the continued operations of the Tareto Maa Girls’ Shelter in Kenya. This organization fed, clothed, educated, and provided a home for 122 vulnerable girls in Kilgoris, Kenya – most of whom have run away from home to escape FGC and forced child marriage.
More recently, Jackie is the co-founder and Lead Adviser of SPARC[scholarships], a scholarship speaking series hosted at CWRU, awarding selected students presenting on key social issues. This year’s over-arching topic for the speaking series is minority groups in STEM-based careers. Jackie is also the owner and founder of SecondStar Solutions, an engineering consulting business that focuses on developing technical training curriculum and implementing organizational change management.
Jackie is a partner in Social Venture Partners (the world’s largest network of philanthropic donor-volunteers) and serves on the board of directors for Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO). She has been awarded “25 Movers and Shakers Under 35” (20s/30s Club, 2014), “Woman of Distinction Award” (GSNEO, 2014), “Top 40 under 40” (Crain’s Cleveland Business, 2015), and “Young Alumni Award” (Case Western Reserve University, 2015).
Here, she answers five questions for SVP:
Q: What led you to SVP?
A: I just moved to Colorado from Ohio. As a single woman in her 30s who is working from home, I understand it can be difficult to make new friends. I’m joining SVP both because I see it as the most effective way to give back to the community and because I believe it’s one of the best ways to get connected with some of the most vibrant, outgoing people in Colorado.
Q: What do you most look forward to as an SVP Partner?
A: I hope to learn a lot. I plan to continue to serve to better my community and the world through-out my life. I think being plugged in to a network of people who are also focused on this mission will only help me become a better leader and philanthropist.
Q: What is your motto?
A: Always bring a swimsuit.
Q: What is your most marked characteristic?
A: Is a laugh a characteristic? If not, then probably my passion for championing causes that I care deeply about. But if laugh counts, then I’d say that. And you’ll probably soon find out why.
Q: When and where were you happiest?
A: Too many places to list.