Charley “Sparkle” Lapomardo Bringing Stories to Life with Sparkle Storytime

Charley “Sparkle” Lapomardo (they/them) is a dynamic facilitator and user experience researcher committed to helping people be their best selves, both at work and in life. With five years of experience as a Community Culture Manager and User Researcher at Wayfair, Charley combines creativity with strategic insight to design impactful experiences. 

They hold a BBA in Marketing, Theater, and Media Literacy from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and are passionate about fostering inclusive, engaging spaces where everyone can thrive. Currently based in San Diego, CA, Charley is the founder of Sparkleworks, an organization dedicated to creating transformative workshops and events.

Charley’s professional journey centers on co-creating environments that empower individuals to express their true selves. Their work at Wayfair and Sparkleworks has honed their skills in designing employee experiences and community events that promote connection and engagement. Charley’s approach emphasizes the importance of inclusive and engaging spaces, where every individual feels safe and valued.

Sparkle Storytime

At the latest Connection Crew workshop, Charley led an activity called “Sparkle Storytime,” which used storytelling to enhance emotional awareness and foster deeper connections among participants. The activity involved sharing personal stories and actively listening to others, creating a space for mutual vulnerability and perspective-taking.

Through “Sparkle Storytime,” Charley demonstrated the power of storytelling as a tool for connection. Participants went into their breakout rooms taking turns sharing a story from a moment in their professional lives that illuminated life for them. 

Their breakout room buddy would then share what they observed about their buddy when they were listening to their story, and followed up by sharing how they related to their story. The structured roles of ‘Sparkler’ and ‘Witness’ guided the storytelling process, ensuring meaningful interactions and fostering a sense of mutual respect and empathy.

Incorporating these storytelling techniques into everyday interactions can help create more inclusive and empathetic environments. By recognizing the power of personal stories and practicing emotional awareness, individuals can build stronger connections and enhance their communities. Charley’s work with Sparkleworks exemplifies the transformative potential of storytelling, demonstrating how it can be used to connect people, foster understanding, and create more vibrant, supportive communities.

Written on 20 Jun 2024.

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