About The Sparrow’s Nest

“A place where families are seen, accepted, and loved.”

Carissa Figgins, Founder

Carissa Figgins originally founded The Sparrow’s Nest in 2013 from a place of righteous anger. It was never ok to overlook and dismiss young mothers and their children. Carissa started with the thought that young teen mothers just needed a safe place to stay as they figured out their next steps. Little did she know how the simple idea of home would evolve into so much more.

The Sparrow’s Nest has always been committed to creating a safety net for young families. The Sparrow’s Nest is committed to a high level of individualized care and will always go above and beyond any rule, regulation, or level of compliance to ensure the safety and well-being of the entire family. Through collaboration and coordination with churches, schools, and social service organizations Sparrow works to safeguard young families and their children. Sparrow will always be a place where families are seen, accepted, and loved.

Board Members

Kirk Kasicki – President

Kirk has been married to his wonderful wife Darrah for 20 years and they have one daughter. Darrah also volunteers at The Sparrow’s Nest. Kirk is the Vice President of Corporate Tax at CSI Leasing and is a member of the St. Charles Jaycees. They attend McKnight Crossings Church of Christ in Rock Hill.

“I serve because I believe in the mission of The Sparrow’s Nest to house and educate young women that would otherwise fall through the cracks of the system. Matthew 25 implores us to protect the vulnerable and the Nest is there to provide services to some of the most vulnerable in our society: pregnant young women that do not necessarily have many other good choices.”

Mark Hollander – Vice President & Treasurer

Mark has been married for 19 years to his amazing wife, Melissa. Mark has two daughters – Katie and Maggie – and two beautiful grandsons – Blake & Jacob.   Mark and Melissa own La Belle Vie / The Cafe at Frenchtown and work with several non-profit organizations across the county.  They attend The Crossing Church in Chesterfield Valley.

Jessica Henman – Secretary

Jessica has been married twenty-five years and has three nearly-grown-up children by birth. She has been mom to fourteen more through foster care. Jessica and her family are active members of The Crossings Church St Charles County. She is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and provides healthcare to growing families through her private practice, Primrose Midwifery.

“I believe people at all stages of development and in all life circumstances deserve respect, compassion, and the opportunity to live life to their greatest potential. At some point, most of us will need help from a loving friend or mentor to accomplish that. The Nest provides the love and sanctuary that young parents and their children need at a critical time in their lives, so they won’t merely survive a hard time, but will blossom into all that God has planned for them.”

Janssen Longenecker – Director

Janssen is a financial advisor and founder of investment firm Mission Financial. Mission Financial supports a number of community charities, including The Sparrow’s Nest, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Strong Tower Ranch, Covenant House and Set Free Ministries. Janssen is active in the First Step Back Home Ministry, and has been a member and president of the St. Charles Optimist Club. Originally from Chicago, Janssen lives in St. Charles. He has seven children: Josiah, Michál, Chloe, Eli, Phoebe, Priscilla and Anna. Josiah, Janssen’s oldest, works at Mission Financial as well. Janssen attends Grace Community Chapel in St. Peters on Mexico Rd. with five of his children.

“I was saved at a young age by praying to receive Jesus with my father. My dad was my model and example who led me to Christ, taught me to love, helped me understand and relate to my loving Father in heaven. Later in life, in my mid 20s, I was re-baptized only because I wanted to relate baptism more personally to my calling/purpose/vision to serve the Lord.”

Sonya Burnett – Director

Sonya has three wonderful young men and two grandchildren. Sonya holds a Bachelor’s in Child and Family Development from Missouri State University and a Master’s in Public Health with a focus in Community Health from Saint Louis University and currently works for Washington University School of Medicine as an Educational Liaison for the Sickle Cell Clinic at Children’s Hospital Department of Pediatrics Hematology/Oncology. Sonya has worked in Early Intervention/Early Education for 25 years including working directly with young parents for 10 plus of those years. Sonya lives in St. Charles. She attends Harvester Christian.

“I serve because I, first hand, witnessed the need for young parents to have an affordable quality child care center with love and guidance to nurture parents as they grow and develop on their own parenting journey. I see the Sparrow’s Nest addressing the needs of young parents, in the community, and engaging their babies in the best start in life with a strong foundation including growing in Christ. ~James 2:26”

Angela Lockett – Director

Angela and her husband Geoff have been married for 32 years residing in St. Charles County since 1992. They have four children and four extraordinary grandchildren. Both Angela and Geoff are active members of Chapel of the Lake in Lake St. Louis.

“My vision for The Sparrow’s Nest is inspired by my own experiences. My mother was pregnant with me during her senior year of high school. By the time I was in middle school, she had four kids and her second marriage was ending. Like so many young families in our community today, we needed help. Under the most unlikely circumstances, God brought people into our lives who would change our lives forever. Their unconditional love and practical help drew my mother to Christ, and her decision to follow Him has impacted the lives of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and countless others. As we seek to provide young families with needed resources, we do so under a higher caller which is to change the world by spreading the gospel of Christ.”

Lance Rogers – Director

Lance is a business owner who is service driven and community focused with 30+ years of experience in sales management, operations, human resources, recruiting, talent acquisition. and project management with a demonstrated history of delivering results. He is skilled in implementing and executing business strategies to achieve company sales and profit objectives. He’s had a high degree of success and ability in recruiting, training, coaching, and developing to build and grow teams.  Lance has lived in St. Charles county for over 21 years. He served on the University of Missouri Advisory Boards at the College of Human Environmental Sciences and the Trulaske College of Business. Lance currently serves on the O’Fallon Family YMCA Advisory Board. He is a member of the O’Fallon and the Western St. Charles County Chambers of Commerce and is a Vision Leadership St. Charles County 2020 graduate & alumni. He’s been married to his wife, Lisa, for 30 years and has three children. He and Lisa are members of Harvester Christian Church where they help serve.

Meet Our Staff

Rebecca Ingle

Director Of Operations

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About Rebecca Ingle
Rebecca graduated from Missouri State University with her Master’s in Social Work in May of 2021. She is passionate about serving others and working with children and young families. For Rebecca, one of the most exciting aspects of working at the Sparrow’s Nest is the opportunity to be a light for Christ and to love on the families while also empowering them to work towards their personal goals.

Rebecca and her husband, Adam, attend Waypoint Church and serve in the youth ministry. In her free time, Rebecca loves running, spending time with family and friends, and doing anything active outside. Rebecca is excited to see God continually work through this ministry!

Melissa Wade

Lead Childcare Provider
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About Melissa Wade
Melissa joined The Sparrows Nest as the Lead Childcare Provider in November of 2022. She has worked in the early childcare field since 2006 in Florida, Arkansas and now in Missouri where she plans to spend many years building a life. After looking to give more of herself in her field, she discovered Sparrow and was extremely blessed to become a part of the beautiful Mission behind our childcare co-op. She is so excited to work alongside children and their parents and pass on all of my early childcare knowledge to both.

 In her free time, Melissa enjoys playing board games and doing puzzles with her boyfriend Brad as well as taking day trips to parks with their dachshund Oscar. 

Kim McKnight

Development Manager

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About Kim McKnight
Kim has been involved at The Sparrow’s Nest since 2015, first as a volunteer and then as part of the staff. She was passionate about the work Sparrow did as a maternity home and is just as passionate about their transition to helping young families on a day-to-day basis through a childcare cooperative. She is thankful for this opportunity to share the love of Christ with young families.

When not at the Nest, Kim enjoys spending time with her growing family and loves all things puppies, plants, and puzzles. Kim’s dog, Zoey, can often be seen hanging out with the staff and kids at the Nest.

Shannon Hernando

Business Manager

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About Shannon H.
Shannon joined Sparrow in July of 2021 as the Business Operations Manager and loves being part of the Sparrow team! She is excited to see all the impact Sparrow will have on children and young families through the years, and grateful to get a front row seat as God works to provide love and support to young families.

Shannon and her husband, Matt, have two children. They attend The Crossings Church Innerbelt and Shannon serves as the children’s minister. In her free time, Shannon loves photography, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying a good cup of coffee. Shannon is excited to see God work in Sparrow and help families feel loved as they grow!