Tashmica “Firecracker” Torok
Founder & Executive Director

(she, her, hers)

Tashmica Torok is a nationally recognized survivor activist working to end child sexual abuse. She is a powerhouse fundraiser and movement maker who has raised thousands of dollars and countless volunteer hours in support of her work.

Tashmica is the co-chair of the Capital Area Sexual Assault Response Team. Through her leadership, the foundation is spearheading trauma-sensitive yoga in the Lansing area and is providing services to the Lansing School District, Child & Family Service’s Angel House, Community Mental Health and to youth and families in the community. The growth of this innovative organization has inspired a move into a larger space where all programs – mental health therapy, trauma sensitive yoga, and pediatric medical advocay– will be hosted under the same roof.

Tashmica has been awarded the Michigan Jaycees Foundation’s Outstanding Young Michigander Award in 2014, USA Network’s 2015 Characters Unite Award, the 2016 Emerging Leader Award from Sistrum: the Lansing Women’s Chorus, and Child Advocate of the Year 2017 by the Lansing Exchange Club.

Her biggest thrill continues to be accomplishing her heart work at The Firecracker Foundation with healing children, teens and families. As the executive director of The Firecracker Foundation, she incites riots of generosity and advocates for the healing of children and families every day. Tashmica is the kind of friend who always encourages you to do more. She’s a published storyteller and a nearly retired roller derby skater. She’s also the mother of three boys, wife to a talented tile installer and a behind-the-scenes volunteer.

Carolyn Abide
Operations Manager

(she, her, hers)

As someone who has spent over a decade working with many different sensitive and vulnerable populations, I have seen the myriad of ways that trauma can drastically alter the course of a life. I have also had the privilege of seeing first-hand the light we can bring into our

community when we act with love and listening compassion. I first heard of The Firecracker Foundation at yoga and was instantly interested in learning more. Having walked with dear friends and loved ones through the pain of sexual abuse and trauma, I am so excited to be a part of an organization that is working to honor and support the incredible strength of these survivors.

I am a lucky momma of a vibrant and strong-willed 5-year-old, who keeps me on my toes and at the top of my game and the partner to a kind and hard-working man. My husband and I recently made every middle school girl’s dream come true by buying a farm with my best friend and her family. We are having a blast raising our combined three children, 6 goats, and an ever growing flock of chickens and ducks while navigating the joys and difficulties of living in a close community with each other. We have just started training our goats to work as therapy animals and have been reveling in the resulting cuteness and peoples’ response to these beautiful and engaging creatures. Our friendship with The Firecracker Foundation has inspired us to move towards becoming more therapy-oriented as a farm and we are so excited to see where this path leads.

I am honored to be able to do the behind the scenes work that enables healing and hope to flourish.

Erica Dziedzic
Donor Relations Coordinator

(she, her, hers)

Erica is an anthropologist who brings over ten years of formal experience in research methods, working in collaborative environments, and writing about complex topics for a wide range of audiences. She received her PhD in Anthropology from Michigan State University and transitioned from academia to the Firecracker Foundation in order to focus on survivor advocacy.

Erica brings enthusiasm and passion to her role as Donor Relations Coordinator. She values honest communication, connection, and compassion and uses these principles to sustain and generate support for the kids and families served by the Firecracker Foundation. She believes in the healing power of community and strength in solidarity. She is honored to be a member of this team of talented individuals.

She shares a lively home with her two spirited children, her creative and adventurous husband, and two naughty cats.

Tara Scott
Program Director

(she, her, hers)

Tara Scott is a Lansing native and a graduate of New York University, where she completed her undergraduate studies and later received her M.A. from Tisch School of the Arts. She is an experienced yoga teacher and the founder and facilitator of a Zen-centered contemplative community. For the past 13 years, Tara has bridged her interests in cognition and behavior to the spiritual foundations of mindfulness to curate transformative, sacred space dedicated to embodied self-awareness practices for justice, liberation, and healing.

Her work has included developing teen workshops for 4-H Exploration Days; hosting community-based dialogues on faith, mental health and intersectional identity for MSU’s Project 60/50; presenting healing justice sessions at the Allied Media Conference; leading Quaker and Buddhist communities through her intensive inquiry-and-discernment model for justice; and co-facilitating workshops on health equity and social justice for a local public health organization.