What We Do
The Spitfire Club is an extracurricular book club built around a collection of children's literature featuring strong, diverse, female protagonists. By creating demand for and building an inclusive community around diverse girl-positive books, The Spitfire Club enhances literacy and social-emotional skills, nurturing each Spitfire's love of reading, love of self, and love for Spitfires across all communities.
Spitfire partners with outside of school time programs (schools, affordable housing communities, recreation centers, libraries, and similar groups) to offer Spitfire Clubs on a weekly basis, with a focus on Spitfires who face structural and systemic barriers to literacy, visibility, opportunity, and liberation. We are a trusted, authentic, culturally responsive partner that embodies the Spitfire values of curiosity, resilience, empathy, authenticity, tenacity, and empowerment.
Learn more about our ambitious vision and the impact we strive to have in our Theory of Change.
Who We Are
Amanda is the founder and Executive Director of The Spitfire Club, an innovative nonprofit book club and empowerment community for girls. Amanda launched Spitfire in Alexandria, Virginia in 2017 and has since built Spitfire to serve over 450 girls in the DC-metro area and beyond. Amanda offers her experience of over a decade working in nonprofit management, fundraising, and strategic planning, while also bringing to bear nine years’ experience in the classroom, including four years with a literacy nonprofit working in DC Public Schools and over five years leading ESOL instruction for members of the immigrant community. Amanda is Chair Emeritus of the Alexandria City Children Youth and Families Collaborative Commission and 2021 Alexandria Chamber of Commerce "Forty under Forty" recipient. She is a graduate of American University's School of International Service and of Georgetown University’s Nonprofit Executive Management Certificate Program.
As Program Manager, Leslie Figueroa utilizes her vibrant energy, creativity, and deep experience leading out-of-school-time programs to oversee Spitfire's reading and empowerment programming. Leslie is a seasoned mentor who facilitated and managed after school mentoring programs for five years. Subsequently, Leslie was promoted to Mentor and Training Director for a national nonprofit, where she led recruitment, training, and placement of volunteer mentors from George Mason University. Leslie is bilingual in English and Spanish and she holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Human Development from Virginia Tech. Leslie is also certified in TEFL and EMT/First Aid. Fun fact: Leslie spent two summers during undergrad working as an EMT at a summer camp in upstate New York.
Our Board of Directors
DR. SAUNJI D. FYFFE
Chair, Board of Directors
Saunji brings to Spitfire her deep expertise in monitoring and evaluation, nonprofit management, and research. Saunji is a Monitoring and Evaluation Analyst at General Dynamics Information Technology. Previously, Saunji worked as a researcher at The Urban Institute's Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy and she has taught classes on nonprofit leadership and management. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Policy from Virginia Tech and a B.A. in sociology from the University of Virginia.
Vice Chair, Board of Directors
Kelly Griffin has helped complicated organizations navigate significant strategy and culture changes for more than 20 years. She has served as a trusted advisor and thought partner of C-suite leaders, Board members, and department heads while leading teams through the process of creating strategic plans, driving strategy execution and performance measurement processes, and guiding change management. As a full-time employee, she led processes to identify major strategic shifts and build bridges to successful execution at three national organizations and a government agency. As a consultant, she serves nonprofit clients with missions from ending hunger to solving homelessness to correcting policing inequity to curing life-threatening disease. Her work with them helps clarify their strategies, improve their strategic agility, and drive toward measurable outcomes. She is also certified as an executive coach.
Treasurer, Board of Directors
Marcus is dad to a phenomenal Spitfire (who LOVES to read) and he is also a strong supporter of our work. During the day, Marcus leads all functions of finance at Phase2 Technology as their Vice President of Finance. We are excited that he can bring to bear his expertise in maintaining healthy financials that align with organizational strategy and vision at Spitfire!
Secretary, Board of Directors
Leigh is mom to three wonderful Spitfires and she has been a huge cheerleader for our organization since the very beginning! During the day, Leigh works as Co-Owner at Windmill Hill Design and Build. Leigh brings a deep passion for girls' empowerment, first-hand experience with parenting three Spitfires, a history of nonprofit board service, and deep knowledge in marketing and communications.
Member, Board of Directors
We first met Lorraine Rios while operating a Spitfire Club in her library! Lorraine began her education career as a school media specialist and she now teaches fifth grade. Lorraine is currently pursuing her Master of Teaching at The University of Virginia, studying ESOL instruction. Prior to her work in education, Lorraine was a chemical engineer and she is also an artist! In addition to being a real renaissance woman, she grew up in Puerto Rico and is bilingual. Lorraine is also very proud to share that she is "the FUN aunt!" Lorraine may seem familiar to you - in 2020, Lorraine led virtual Spitfire Clubs with our youngest readers, so she brings first-hand knowledge of what Spitfire programming is and could be!
Member, Board of Directors
Danielle has been practicing law for 18 years, and is currently an attorney at Verizon, where she advises B2B leadership on strategic transactions and compliance matters. She moved to the DC area to attend Howard University School of Law, after receiving a BBA in International Business from the University of Georgia. She is the former President and Book Sale Chairperson for Friends of Duncan Library and she has also been on the boards of Alexandria Little League Little Hunting Park, and the Alexandria Country Day School, Maury Elementary, and Burgundy Farm PTAs. In her free time, Danielle can be found with a book — she is both an avid reader and finds joy in tsundoku. Her favorite books are The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord and Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. She is trying to learn to play bridge and believes Paris is always a good idea.