Archetypes: Nancy Spargo

 In Feature, Style


An interview with Nancy Spargo, executive director at St. Louis Center for Family Development, LLC. Nancy considers herself a “builder,” as she supports individuals and creates strong, healthy families through her work at St. Louis Center for Family Development. This family-centered social justice advocate is also an adjunct faculty member at Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work and Social Justice Coordinator at Eliot Chapel.

What is your current frame of mind?
Hopelessly optimistic. I stay pretty positive.

When and where are you happiest?
With my family and friends in a whole bunch of places.

What is your favorite smell?
A soap in Spain called maja.

What is one word that describes you?

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Poached egg with an English muffin and veggie sausage. The requested breakfast of my son.

What is your most marked characteristic?
High energy.

What is your greatest weakness?
Time management.

What trait do you most admire in others?

Who or what is the greatest love of your life?
My kids.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Personally, finding joy in life every day. Professionally, founding St. Louis Center for Family Development. In my family life, supporting my parents in their latter stages of life and adopting two kids from foster care as a single mother.

Which living person do you most admire?
Hillary Clinton.

Which quote do you most identify with?
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audrey Lorde

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, who or what would it would be?
A woman with wisdom much earlier on.

What is your most treasured possession?
A ceramic Lladró piece from when I lived in Spain.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Throwing away the clock.

What is your greatest fear?
That I die before my kids are ready to be on their own.

On what occasion do you lie?
I don’t really lie…unless it’s to say that I’m leaving “now”— then actually leaving 10 minutes later.

Who are your favorite writers?
Growing up, Richard Wright. Now, Sandra Cisneros.

Who are your favorite artists?
Salvador Dalí, Georgia O’Keeffe, Kandinsky and folk art.

What is your favorite hobby?
Music has been a huge influence in my life.

Where would you like to live?
I haven’t figured that out yet, but I’m good with St. Louis right now.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My friend Mary Ludvigsen.

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
My paternal grandfather.

What’s something interesting that you just learned?
I recently learned of the efforts of the economic development leaders to make St. Louis a more welcoming place for immigrants and refugees.

What are you most looking forward to?
Something different every day.

What is one thing you wish would happen?
A whole lot more love and compassion in the world.

What is something you still want to learn?
How we can help organizations embrace a trauma-informed approach.

What is one thing you want to do before you die?
A lot more traveling.

If you could say something to your younger self, what would it be?
Believe in yourself.

‘Archetypes’ are off-the-cuff interviews with St. Louis’ most inspiring, well-known personalities based on the 19th century Parisian parlor game known as the Proust Questionnaire.



Archetypes: Nancy Spargo


Photo credit: Wesley Law

Recent Posts