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FBI Presents 2009 Director’s Community Leadership Award to Cedric D. Sparks, Sr., Executive Director, City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office - Division of Youth Services (DYS)

FBI Birmingham December 02, 2009
  • Public Affairs Specialist Paul E. Daymond (205) 279-1457

BIRMINGHAM—Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Patrick J. Maley announced that Cedric D. Sparks is the recipient of the 2009 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). SAC Maley made the announcement and presented a certificate to Mr. Sparks, at a press conference this morning. Mr. Sparks will attend a presentation early next year in Washington, D.C., where FBI Director Robert Mueller will present a formal award to him and other recipients from across the country. 

Since 1990, the FBI has recognized individuals and organizations whose achievements in the terrorism, crime, drug, gang, or violence prevention/education field had an exemplary impact on the community.  Each year, the SAC of each FBI field office selects an individual or organization that has made a major contribution in these areas.

Mr. Sparks has served with DYS since May 1998, where he served as Administrative Assistant to the Mayor. He was promoted in June 1999 to the position of Operations Manager. In August 2000, he was named Director of Operations and in July 2002, he was appointed Executive Director of DYS.  Under his leadership, and due to his overall approach to serving the young people of the city, in 2008, Birmingham was named as one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in America. This makes Birmingham a city that can be replicated, and is a model for other cities around the country in the area of youth services.

Some of his many accomplishments include:

  • Named one of the Birmingham News “15 Leaders of the Future
  • Ebony Magazine U.S.A.’s Top 30 Young Leaders of the FutureAward
  • Birmingham Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 Award Recipient
  • Graduate of Leadership Birmingham
  • Graduate of the Inaugural Class of Leadership UAB
  • 100 Black Men of Birmingham “Mentor of the Year”
  • General Mills “Feeding Dreams” Award Recipient

Mr. Sparks has served as President of the Birmingham Chapter of 100 Black Men and also serves on their National Board of Directors.

Under his leadership, Mr. Sparks has grown DYS substantially. Included in the programs he oversees at DYS are:

  • Kids and Jobs Program;
  • Caught Doing Good Campaign, which partners with the Birmingham Police Department and Municipal Court System;
  • Spotlight on Youth television program, which airs four times a week on a local cable network;
  • Programs that Work Awards, which are given to excellent youth services providers.

SAC Maley commended Mr. Sparks: “In keeping true to their mission of exposing Birmingham youth to constructive, entertaining and educational opportunities, Mr. Sparks has exhibited true community leadership through his efforts to improve the lives of young people in the City of Birmingham, the city’s future leaders.”

Additional information regarding DYS can be found on their website, www.bhamyouthfirst.org