Meet your Stargazing 2014 speaker!

Meet your Stargazing 2014 speaker!

i Jun 26th No Comments by

Pin Me.

My name is Patrick Harris.

I am a servant. I am a solider. I am a survivor.

I spent my childhood in nomadic adventures between school days in Southfield, Michigan and enjoying weekends and summers in the cityscapes of Detroit. I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was very young. While other boys reveled in their wrestling action figures and video games, I preferred chalkboards and teacher edition textbooks.

I am now a senior at Michigan State University majoring in Elementary Education with specializations in Language Arts and TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language). I am dedicated to facilitating and participating in tough conversations about social justice issues that we experience collectively in our communities.

I spent two years leading discussions in the dorms at Michigan State University and now I get to bring these conversations to the radio as the co-host of my own radio show on IMPACT 89FM. Every Thursday I have the opportunity to engage in uncensored conversations about the issues that matter most.

Most recently, I joined Project Y.E.S as a member of an awesome task force of exemplary interns. This opportunity sends me across the country to facilitate games and discussions that teach leadership and life skills to kids whose parents are deployed.

While I may do many awesome things, life still happens.

I often struggle to communicate with people who aren’t aware of my bubble gum phobia and to climb a full flight of stairs without falling.

But seriously, I have been faced with challenges that have broken me. However, I’m a kick-butt human being with feelings that matter. I have a story to tell.  I refuse to stay silent.

The revolution of love can’t start itself. 

Join me in the celebration you made possible on Thursday, July 31st at Abrams Planetarium at 7:30 p.m.

To learn more and get your tickets to Stargazing 2014 visit:

Tour de Thanks!

i Jun 25th No Comments by

Starting 24 hours ago, five members of your board enjoyed rainy day toasts, roses from my garden, chocolate covered coffee beans, cards and words filled with gratitude.

Today was lovingly named the Tour de Thanks.

A year ago, it was on this day that I invited several friends that I respected, admired and trusted to my home. I offered them lunch and an explanation of the idea I had been mulling over for months. Some had seen glimpses over coffee and lunch. That afternoon, I rolled out the full explanation and what would be adopted as the mission statement. It was very clandestine.

At the end of the explanation, I asked who would like to join  me in working to create The Firecracker Foundation.

Every single one of them raised their hands.

I was floored and your leadership team was built. 1402088_10152064230198588_1792376466_o

I spent today seeking them all out at work, at home and at play to celebrate 365 days of faith, service and advocacy. Every program created, every advocate trained and every success has been a result of the thoughtful insight and hard work of your board of directors.

As a team, they blaze trails and leave coals in their wake.

Today we celebrate an anniversary for 5 board members. Every day this organization is lucky to have 7 incredible advocates serving on the board.

Be sure to click here to meet the leaders you support through their bios.


Tashmica ‘Firecracker’ Torok

PS – We are still seeking an attorney experienced in laws related to child advocacy to serve on our board. If you or someone you know might be a good fit, send an email to

Welcome, Maggie!

i Jun 23rd No Comments by

Today you can help us welcome a new voice to The Firecracker Foundation.

Meet Maggie, the new Social Media and Communications Intern!MaggieLasley

Maggie Lasley is a recent graduate from Columbia College Chicago. After some experimentation in college (studying Journalism and Elementary Education), Maggie found herself looking for a better way to shed light on current social issues. She turned to Public Relations hoping to use social media and communication to bring awareness to area non-profits and social enterprises.

Since graduating with her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Communications in December 2013, Maggie has returned to her hometown of Grand Rapids to pursue a career in non-profit communications. She has worked at Hope Network teaching adults with mental and physical disabilities valuable life skills and currently works in Sales and Promotions at GR Birthday Deals, LLC.

Maggie is the mother of two 90 lbs. fur babies, Scooter and Coda. She enjoys hiking, yoga, and watching as many episodes on Netflix in one night as humanly possible.

In the future, Maggie hopes to be the Director of Public Relations for a non-profit organization that advocates for mental health, child welfare, education, or animal rights issues. She kind of wants to do it all.

Maggie has already begun organizing, planning and color coding to keep you posted on all foundation updates, inspirations and programs.

Now that you’ve met her, take a moment to leave her an encouraging note welcoming her to your team of survivors and advocates.