Your Staff

Firecracker head shot

Tashmica “Firecracker” Torok, Founder & Executive Director

I am a survivor.

I own the sparks flying off the wreckage, the scars that still burn, and the story I am left to tell about the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. As an inspirational and engaging public speaker, I draw fire from the embers of my past to empower and encourage other survivors healing from the devastating effects of sexual trauma. As the founder & executive director of The Firecracker Foundation, I work to honor the bravery of children who have survived sexual trauma by encouraging the Mid-Michigan community to invest in the healing of their whole being.

I am wife to a talented tile installer and mother to three boys that carry my heart with them wherever they go – much like the worms I find in their pockets. I am the author of my namesake blog, Tashmica Torok, and sometimes contributor to xoJane, where I offer humor, insight and inspiration to women across the U.S.

I preach militant self-care for all freedom fighters, the walking wounded, the in-the-trenches parents and the ambitious souls interested in building a productive and adventurous life without sacrificing self-love. As a former skater with the Lansing Derby Vixens, I have a deep love for all things roller derby and some of my closest friends still call me Firecracker. I can usually be found pouring my heart on to a yoga mat, writing in a local coffee shop or offering up behind the scenes volunteer work to the brilliant world changers in my hometown.

Despite my best intentions, I forget to turn the oven off, cannot arrive anywhere without GPS assistance, and will never succeed at two things: knitting or waking up without hitting snooze. These hiccups aside, I aspire daily to take Mother Teresa’s advice and “do small things with great love.”

Kyle Kirkby, Bookkeeper and Office Manager

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I’m  a proud community advocate with almost a decade of hands-on office management experience sustaining local non-profit organizations. I genuinely enjoy supporting our community and the important mission and outreach work that makes #LoveLansing a unique and wonderful place to live.

By honoring the bravery of children who have survived sexual trauma, The Firecracker Foundation is building a community invested in healing their whole being. The fostering of holistic opportunities which promote healing and growth for youth survivors of trauma is enormously important work and creates a foundation for children to grow beyond their experiences.

Providing young people a safe space to heal; an empathetic listening ear for guidance and the opportunity for creative expression and movement, inspires the mind and body toward empowering the Self to become a trusted, valued home for the Spirit.

Being within the natural landscape brings a Peace that sustains me. I’m a long-time gardener and my husband and I love to hike, canoe and are active birders. We have 2 sweet rescue pups and a trio of cats to round out our family and they bring us laughter, snuggles and enough pet-hair tumbleweeds to knit matching sweaters!

I am grateful that the work I do to support The Firecracker Foundation will help child survivors of sexual trauma reclaim their safe space. 

Mandy Charping, Program CoordinatorMandy Charping

I’m a lifelong mid-Michigander with a variety of experience with a common thread of helping people thrive in whatever situations they find themselves. Much of my past work encouraged the growth and development of children and communities though recreational programs, child respite care, service learning, and nonprofit collaboration. Combine that with more recent experience in crisis intervention and support for individuals experiencing trauma, and therein lies my advocacy platform. The strength of individuals facing sexual trauma fuels my passion for building partnerships that will connect them with invaluable community resources that address the aftermath of such trauma and encourage healing. I’m grateful to be part of an advocacy community that thinks more creatively, more holistically, and more intentionally about how to best support children who have experienced sexual trauma.
Everyone reacts to trauma in different ways. For me, advocacy is about providing children and families with an individualized substrate for the quality, consistent care they will receive from our community partners on their path to healing. A child who survives sexual trauma deserves the support of our entire community as they begin to heal and lead a healthy life into adulthood. I believe that children and families have the right to quality and consistent healing services. I believe in the power of communities to create lasting change.

When I’m not working alongside the freedom fighters and world changers of my community, I’m pretending it’s still the 90’s with my lovely wife—rollerblading, playing Pokemon, and listening to Ace of Base. Together, we’ve rescued two rambunctious dogs, Lady and Bean, who keep us on our toes and bring so much life, love, and hair to our family.

It is an honor to contribute to The Firecracker Foundation’s work to support resiliency and well-being in all stages of development into adulthood, and I look forward to continuing to contribute to this growing, powerful organization.