Staff and Board


Alex Trouteaud, Ph.D., Executive Director

Alex Trouteaud Headshot

Alex uses his background as a sociologist to figure out which types of tactics and strategies effectively address the exploitation of youth in local communities, having first become involved with the issue of youth sex trafficking while researching victimization and perpetration rates across the U.S. He is an Affiliated Faculty member of the Department of Sociology at Georgia State University, and holds a Ph.D. in applied sociology from Baylor University. Alex has recently focused on studying sexual exploitation of boys and trans youth, as well as homeless and runaway youth in metro Atlanta. Through youthSpark he leads collaborations with NGO and public agency partners to address gaps in services for exploited youth, as well as gaps in policy. He routinely partners with law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, child welfare agencies, and victim service organizations to improve systems responses to youth exploitation. You can email Alex at or find him on twitter @truetoe.

Jennifer Swain, Deputy Director

jennifer-headshot-smallJennifer oversees strategic implementation of current programs, as well as community education initiatives and other internal activities at youthSpark. Previously she served as youthSpark’s Program Director where she led the design and implementation of the Voices early intervention program, the first program of its kind to reach girls who are at high-risk for trafficking involvement, or who do not self-identify as victims of commercial sexual exploitation. She trains various groups on the issue of child sex trafficking, and presents at local and national conferences on victim identification and early intervention. Jennifer is a founding member of the Georgia Statewide Trafficking Task Force—serving on the Keeping At-Risk Youth Safe work group—and she routinely provides expert witness testimony in trafficking cases. Jennifer’s current focus is on the design and implementation of youthSpark’s new Youth Services Center. You can email Jennifer at

Program and Clinical Staff

Catharine Brockman Kuchar, Grants Coordinator

Sharnell Myles, Psy.D., Care Clinician

Tiffany Hylton, Program Coordinator

Renee Shelby, M.A., Research Assistant

Shafeeq Rashid, Senior Case Manager

Board of Directors

The youthSpark Board of Directors is comprised of talented, dedicated individuals who provide support and oversight in achieving our mission. Board members work hand-in-hand with key staff members to enhance and grow youthSpark’s impact in putting a stop to the exploitation of youth.

Cassandra Johnson, Board Chair

Zenda Jones, Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair
Deloitte Consulting LLP

Catherine Payne, Secretary
Alston & Bird, LLP

Barbara Rose, Governance Committee Chair
New Generation Partnerships

Sharon Hill, Ph.D., Programs Committee Chair
Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University

Anita Leopold, Fundraising Committee Chair
Business Traveler Services

Taylor Anderson
Anderson Family of Companies

Nancy Blank
Community Volunteer

Karlise Grier
Grier Law Office, P.C.

Aaron Lincove
Pulte Group

Nereida Parks

Nzinga Shaw
Atlanta Hawks

Michael Tyre
GRM – Guest Relations Marketing

Christopher Wilbanks
The Robert & Polly Dunn Foundation

Barbara Vazquez
Vazquez & Servi, PC

Sara Yeglin
CNN International