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7 Badass Business Women in San Diego: Helice 'Sparky' Bridges

Sparky Bridges had it all, a million dollar home over looking the ocean, a successful career, husband, and a closet that reflected someone of her affluent status. On the surface this woman was a wealthy executive with a successful husband, mansion, and handsome children. What the world failed to recognize was that she was profoundly miserable. It is her bleak start that enabled her to commit her to life to honoring others talents, skills, and idiosyncrasies through her non-profit, Difference Makers International. Helice “Sparky” Bridges is a cross between Lucille Ball and Gandhi.  At 72 years-young, this outrageous, courageous and humorous, author, speaker and global leader has created the “Who I Am Makes A Difference”® acknowledgment tools and training that literally transforms anger, apathy and violence into dignity and respect in a minute or less.   

This Blue Ribbon message has impacted over 30 million people worldwide and has been translated into 11 languages.  She delivers acknowledgment training programs worldwide to schools, corporations, religious institutions as well as the US Army, Navy and Marines. A story of how the Blue Ribbon saved a 14 year-old boy from committing suicide was made into a 6-minute Blue Ribbon photo movie which remained #1 for 10 weeks on YouTube in the nonprofit category.

“Sparky” is the founder and Executive Director of Difference Makers International, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to building healthy children, families and communities.  She has received recognition along with Former First Lady Barbara Bush and Kareem Abdul Jabbar for raising the self-esteem of children of all ages, the prestigious 2005 Gandhi Non-violence Award and delivered a keynote address at the Environmental Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro along with leaders such as the Dalai Lama and Vice President Al Gore.

Helice’s stories have been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work, Chicken Soup for the Soul of America, Heart at Work and The Aladdin Factor.  Her work was featured in “Mentor Digest” along with such luminaries as Eckert Tolle, Dr. Wayne Dyer and Jack Canfield.

But it was not always this way.  In 1979, although a devoted wife and mom with a successful career, she constantly contemplated suicidal as a result of being bullied for over 18 years.  Desperately searched for a place where she could feel safe, respected and loved, Sparky found it as volunteer co-chair for the San Diego Hunger Project.  In this capacity, she spoke to over 50,000 people at school assemblies and conferences and discovered another type of hunger; people starving for recognition.  To help solve this problem, “Sparky” created the “Who I Am Makes A Difference”® Blue Ribbon Acknowledgment Ceremony. 

In 2013, Difference Makers International launched the IGNITE WHAT’S RIGHT™ social movement…one billion people honored with the “Who I Am Makes A Difference”® Blue Ribbon Ceremony by the Year 2020…changing lives in a minute or less…a tipping point for positive social change. There are millions of women around the world working to make a difference but there is only one Sparky Bridges.  

 “Sparky” needs your help to honor one billion people by the year 2020.  To find out how to you can make a difference, write to Difference Makers International or email Sparky directly at HeliceBridges@gmail.com.  TOGETHER we are creating dignity and respect among all people for this generation and all generations to come.


Helice "Sparky" Bridges' Feature is Part of the collaborative photography project, 7 Badass Business Women In San Diego. This feature was styled and written by Skyler McCurine of Le Red Balloon and hair/makeup/portraits done by Jennie J Sullins of Beauty Hive Studios. San Diego is home to some truly incredible female entrepreneurs.  Each woman in our series is a change agent in their specific industry, breaking down barriers and changing the perception of what it means to be a female entrepreneur

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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