Spark’s New Dub Nation Video

03.15.17: Spark’s New Dub Nation Video

Spark was selected for Golden State Warriors "Hoops 4 Kids" program. Each Warriors 3-pointer this regular season will generate $500 to Spark and other organizations that work to improve opportunities and outcomes for kids. Spread the news by sharing our latest video! "Spark helped me to realize, anything I can imagine, I can make real," Eziyah, Spark 7th grade student.



Chief Program Officer Joins Thought Leadership Group

02.23.17: Chief Program Officer Joins Thought Leadership Group

Spark is pleased to have Chief Program Officer Kathleen S. Caliento, PhD join the ranks of 20+ thought leaders participating in EqualEd's ambition to generate discussion around positive change in the US education system. Designed to unite teachers and policy influencers including education researchers, advocates, foundation funders and lawmakers, this group will contribute to regular surveys on solutions to major issues in education. EqualEd hopes to highlight common ground and explain the reasons for diverging views. EqualEd will publish the results in newsletter and in story form.


$75,000 grant connects 300 LA students with mentors at top workplaces

02.14.17: $75,000 grant connects 300 LA students with mentors at top workplaces

The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation announced a grant of $50,000 to strengthen its strategic partnership with Spark Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation’s investment unlocked a $25,000 matching grant from Focusing Philanthropy, who partners with nonprofits to enhance fundraising and increase impact. Together, their grants will fuel Spark’s mission to inspire 7th, 8th and 9th graders from underserved communities to succeed in high school and beyond by engaging them with mentors and future careers.


TrueCar Promotes Partnership with Spark

01.26.17: TrueCar Promotes Partnership with Spark

Spark's corporate partners bring mentorships to life! Meet Spark students and their inspiring TrueCar mentors. From video games to the medical field, these mentorships have fostered a world of possibilities. 


Spark Selected for Epic Foundation Global Portfolio

01.23.17: Spark Selected for Epic Foundation Global Portfolio

Spark was selected as one of 10 organizations - among 1,900 applicants at-large - added to Epic Foundation’s existing global portfolio of 20.


A New Look on the Way for Spark

01.20.17: A New Look on the Way for Spark

Spark announces "brand refresh" with a new look on the way in the January 2017 newsletter.



Spark Los Angeles Volunteer Honored with Excellence in Mentoring Award

01.17.17: Spark Los Angeles Volunteer Honored with Excellence in Mentoring Award

Spark is proud to recognize Sam Powel, a volunteer in Los Angeles, as one of four recipients of the Excellence in Mentoring Award! 


Spark Leader Selected for Civic Leadership Academy

01.11.17: Spark Leader Selected for Civic Leadership Academy

Spark is proud to announce Chief Program Officer Kathleen S. Caliento, PhD, was selected as one 30 local government and nonprofit leaders for the Civic Leadership Academy at the University of Chicago class of 2017!


Celebrate Mentoring in January 2017

01.01.17: Celebrate Mentoring in January 2017

Get involved in the mentoring movement!  Learn more about National Mentoring Month. #MentorIRL


Willie Brown’s Spark

12.15.16: Willie Brown’s Spark

Every Wednesday, seventh-graders at Willie Brown L. Middle School load charter buses headed to some of the world’s top companies like Google, Salesforce, and Adobe. At the company, each student pairs with a mentor and together they tackle a project of the student’s choice. For the first time this year, Willie Brown Middle School (WBMS) became one of few schools that offers students these mentorships through the Spark Bay Area program. Spark’s mission is to provide life-changing apprenticeships to middle school youth in underserved communities. 

click to read full story

 


Spark selected for Golden State Warriors Hoops 4 Kids

11.27.16: Spark selected for Golden State Warriors Hoops 4 Kids

Spark was selected as one of the eight beneficiaries for the Golden State Warriors' Hoops 4 Kids program. Through Hoops for Kids, Warriors achievements on the court benefit underserved youth around the Bay Area. Each Warriors 3-point basket this regular season will generate $500 for local organizations that work to improve opportunities and outcomes for kids. Thanks to PG&E and the Koret Foundation, our team's success is now our community's success!


AMC Theatres Support Spark Mentorships

10.14.16: AMC Theatres Support Spark Mentorships

AMC Cares Charitable Grant Fund donates $10,000 to Spark as apart of its intiative to help organizations that support youth and children. 


National Mentoring Resource Center Features Spark

09.29.16: National Mentoring Resource Center Features Spark

How does career-focused mentoring work?  Why is middle school the right time for career exploration?  Learn more in this National Mentoring Resource Center blog post from Spark's Chief Program Officer. 


Spark Featured in Report on Data-Driven Best Practices

09.12.16: Spark Featured in Report on Data-Driven Best Practices

Spark is featured in a new report designed to help organizations improve programs and succeed in their college access mission with data insights.


Building an Opportunity Nation

09.10.16: Building an Opportunity Nation

Spark joined hundreds of cross-sector business leaders, community organizations, policymakers and young adults for the 2016 Opportunity Summit in New York City. 


Celebrating September: Attendance Awareness Month

09.01.16: Celebrating September: Attendance Awareness Month

Can mentoring have a tangible impact on student attendance?  Learn more this month. 


10,000 Mentoring Hours Pledged in the Fall 2016 Semester

08.19.16: 10,000 Mentoring Hours Pledged in the Fall 2016 Semester

Spark will serve 300 students in the Bay Area, including a new Bayview school partner Willie L. Brown Jr. Middle School, as well as the Ravenswood School District in East Palo Alto. Spark will make our program available to the entire 7th grade at Willie Brown Middle School, serving 120 students in Fall of 2016.


IBM mentors give Chicago students a ‘Spark’

08.03.16: IBM mentors give Chicago students a ‘Spark’

Spark mentors at IBM share how they illustrate a formula for success through mentoring.


Spark Adds Finance Executives to National Board of Directors

08.02.16: Spark Adds Finance Executives to National Board of Directors

Leadership, expertise, and experience are what finance executives, Elena Gomez of Zendesk and Ben Rowe of KHP Capital Partners, bring to Spark as they serve as the newest members of the National Board of Directors.


A Record-Setting Year: 2015-2016 Updates

07.01.16: A Record-Setting Year: 2015-2016 Updates

More mentors, more students and more schools! The 2015-2016 school year was a year of growth for Spark. Spark now serves more students and schools and has gained more inspiring mentors. 


Spark Bay Area’s First Region-Wide Event Draws A Crowd!

06.01.16: Spark Bay Area’s First Region-Wide Event Draws A Crowd!

With over 700 attendees in a May afternoon in Justin Herman Plaza, Spark Bay Area's first region-wode Discovery Day was a huge hit! View the photo album on Facebook and don't forget to tag yourself and share the fun with your colleagues and friends. 


One Mentor’s Experience

05.23.16: One Mentor’s Experience

Curious about what it's like to mentor with Spark? Scott Blair is a Spark mentor and the Vice President of Finance and Operations at Activision, a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and leisure products. Scott shares his mentoring experience in a spring blog post. 


Spark LA Spotlight: Fatima

04.29.16: Spark LA Spotlight: Fatima

Spark Los Angeles asked Fatima, a student at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy - Kayne Siart, a few questions about her experience in the Spark Program.


#CelebrateService in April

03.31.16: #CelebrateService in April

April is National Volunteer Month!  Join Spark in celebrating service and the benefits of mentoring.


Daley Plaza Announced as Official Location for Spark Chicago’s Discovery Day

03.15.16: Daley Plaza Announced as Official Location for Spark Chicago’s Discovery Day

Hundreds of Chicago Public School middle school youth and Spark mentors to showcase creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship at inaugural citywide celebration.


Justin Herman Plaza Announced as Location for Discovery Day

03.01.16: Justin Herman Plaza Announced as Location for Discovery Day

On May 11, 2016, Spark will host Discovery Day—a culminating event where 200 students and their mentors will present the projects they’ve created throughout the semester. Learn about their new business ideas, marvel at the robot they built, and so much more! This day not only showcases the untapped and unbridled talent of young people, it highlights the incredible impact mentors can make in the life of a student.


Spark Presents at National Mentoring Summit

02.01.16: Spark Presents at National Mentoring Summit

Spark's Director of Program Innovation shares her National Mentoring Summit experience and the importance of successfully transitioning to high school.  


National Mentoring Month: Bringing Mentoring to Life

01.14.16: National Mentoring Month: Bringing Mentoring to Life

National Mentoring Month offers simple ways for all of us to make an individual impact in 2016 through mentoring.


Celebrate National Mentoring Month 2016

01.01.16: Celebrate National Mentoring Month 2016

Volunteer, donate and share your mentoring story in support of the 13th National Mentoring Month. 


How Udemy is Sparking Student Connections

11.12.15: How Udemy is Sparking Student Connections

Udemy, an online education marketplace, is living out their committment to improving educational outcomes by hosting 17 Spark students this fall semester for hands-on mentoring. Lauren R., Udemy Instructor Account Development Associate and blog guest author wrote about her first experience as a Spark mentor. "Witnessing LaNaie’s success, I was reminded how important it is to dive head-first into the things that scare me the most so I, too, can explore my own unknown strengths." Read her story here. 


Spark Partners to Invest Long-Term in Middle School

11.10.15: Spark Partners to Invest Long-Term in Middle School

Over the next five years, Spark and other education-based organizations from across the nation will collectively invest more than $620 million to enhance learning for over 1.3 million 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders through the new Expanded Learning Middle School Initiative.


Spark Bay Area Board Chair Receives Award for Excellence in Board Leadership

11.09.15: Spark Bay Area Board Chair Receives Award for Excellence in Board Leadership

Spark is proud to announce Garen Corbett, Bay Area Advisory Board Chairman, as recipient of the 2015-16 Holly Depatie Award for Excellence in Board Leadership.

 

 


Spark Celebrates 10th Anniversary

11.09.15: Spark Celebrates 10th Anniversary

 Spark celebrates its 10th anniversary with a reception for supporters in San Francisco. 


Multi-Year Grant Helps Students Successfully Transition into High School

10.30.15: Multi-Year Grant Helps Students Successfully Transition into High School

$1.2 million in funding from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation enables Spark to help more than 4,000 underserved students across four major metropolitan regions successfully transition to high school


Investing in the Transition from Middle School to High School

10.19.15: Investing in the Transition from Middle School to High School

An article from Philanthropy News Digest showcases Spark's High School Readiness and Transition Initative. 


The Importance of Preparation for High School

10.13.15: The Importance of Preparation for High School

This article from Education Week discusses the importance of preparation for high school and highlights Spark's newly acquired grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. 


Multi-Year Grant Helps Students Successfully Transition into High School

10.12.15: Multi-Year Grant Helps Students Successfully Transition into High School

Spark announces $1.2 million in funding from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to support its High School Readiness and Transition Initiative.


Spark CEO Featured on GradNation Blog

10.06.15: Spark CEO Featured on GradNation Blog

Read Jason Cascarino's response to the new Don't Quit on Me report from America's Promise Alliance


Spark selected as one of five Lincoln’s Legacy Award finalists

09.14.15: Spark selected as one of five Lincoln’s Legacy Award finalists

Spark supporters are encouraged to vote for Spark between September 14 and October 2, 2015 to help the organization win $50,000 to further its mission.



Education Week Highlights Spark & Need for Middle School Career Exposure

07.15.15: Education Week Highlights Spark & Need for Middle School Career Exposure

Education Week's "Career Prep Moves Into Middle Schools" discusses the importance of real-world experience for younger students and touts mentoring and corporations as important resources.


Education Week Highlights Spark & Need for Middle School Career Exposure

07.15.15: Education Week Highlights Spark & Need for Middle School Career Exposure

Education Week's "Career Prep Moves Into Middle Schools" discusses the importance of real-world experience for younger students and touts mentoring and corporations as important resources.


Spark Announces Funding for New Content on Interactive Online Learning Platform

07.14.15: Spark Announces Funding for New Content on Interactive Online Learning Platform

Spark is pleased to announce funding from the All Points North Foundation to be used over three years in developing training and educational content for its interactive online learning portal.


Capturing our 2014-2015 Highlights + Exciting Updates!

07.09.15: Capturing our 2014-2015 Highlights + Exciting Updates!

What a year! Read about Spark's milestones and learn what's in store for next year! 


Foundations for Young Adult Success

06.25.15: Foundations for Young Adult Success

A report from The University of Chicago analyzes young people's developmental needs and frameworks for success. Our Chief Knowledge Officer, Kelly Dwyer, weighs in on the changes experienced during adolescence. Our Executive Director, Kathleen St. Louis Caliento addresses the importance in forming connections between schoolwork and student's lives.


Spark Announces Vice President of California Regions

06.09.15: Spark Announces Vice President of California Regions

Spark is pleased to announce the promotion of Spark LA's Yoon S. Choi, Ph.D., to Vice President of California Regions role


“Sparking” Change through Mentorship

04.27.15: “Sparking” Change through Mentorship

Many members of the University of Pennsylvania community volunteer their time to mentor Spark students. Read here about Spark mentor, Whitney and her student Jose. 


Spark Board Leadership Transition

04.27.15: Spark Board Leadership Transition

Spark names Adrian K. Haugabrook Ph.D. Chair of its National Board of Directors


Spark Board Leadership Transistion

04.27.15: Spark Board Leadership Transistion

Spark is upgrading their board, read more here!


How PG&E Helps Fan the Spark in Young Students’ Lives

04.22.15: How PG&E Helps Fan the Spark in Young Students’ Lives

Ten Spark students are being mentored this spring by members of PG&E’s Law, Human Resources, Electric Operations and Corporate Affairs departments. Read about their experiences!


The Apprenticeship Approach

04.22.15: The Apprenticeship Approach

An article written by Spark's CEO Jason Cascarino was featured this month on the Association for Middle Level Education's website! Jason explains why Spark's apprenticeship approach is tailor made for the middle level grades. 


What the Right ‘Spark’ in Middle School Can Ignite

04.06.15: What the Right ‘Spark’ in Middle School Can Ignite

Wells Fargo employees give back through Spark's workplace-based mentoring program to help students build new skills and explore careers!


The Social Arena Promotes Sugar Rush

03.18.15: The Social Arena Promotes Sugar Rush

Thanks to The Social Arena for their pre-event coverage of our second food and wine tasting fundraiser!


WMMR Highlights Sugar Rush Event

03.18.15: WMMR Highlights Sugar Rush Event

93.3 WMMR showcased Spark's Sugar Rush event on its community calendar.


The Importance of a Successful Transition to High School

03.11.15: The Importance of a Successful Transition to High School

Spark’s March 11, 2015 Quarterly Investor Call featured Camille Farrington, Research Associate and Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research.


Spark Philadelphia Executive Board Member Amy Chen Recognized for Social Impact

03.10.15: Spark Philadelphia Executive Board Member Amy Chen Recognized for Social Impact

Read how Spark Philadelphia's Executive Board Member Amy Chen is Doing Good for the Bottom Line — and the World! 


Spark Partners for Expanded Learning Summit

03.10.15: Spark Partners for Expanded Learning Summit

Spark is partnering with Citizen Schools, Higher Achievement and other leaders in the expanded learning field to host a day-long summit on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Summit will bring together a wide rage of voices--from policy makers to practitioners--to focus on making expanded learning opportunities the new normal for all students.


Spark Joins Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Roadmap for Growth Initiative

03.03.15: Spark Joins Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce Roadmap for Growth Initiative

Read how Spark Philadelphia is partnering with local businesses and organizations to develop a growth agenda for the city that promotes job creation and economic prosperity through 2020.


This March, Spark’s on a Mission to Advocate for Middle Level Education

03.02.15: This March, Spark’s on a Mission to Advocate for Middle Level Education

“Middle Level Education Month” seeks to build awareness that education during adolescent years is a crucial and formative experience that greatly impacts students’ futures.


All Points North Foundation Invests in Success for Spark Middle Grades Students

02.10.15: All Points North Foundation Invests in Success for Spark Middle Grades Students

With funding from the All Points North Foundation, Spark is keeping local seventh and eighth graders on track for success and raising awareness nationally to support students in the middle grades.


Wharton Social Impact - Call to Action

01.15.15: Wharton Social Impact - Call to Action

University of Pennsylvania's Social Impact Initiative encourages Penn community to mentor with Spark!


Technically Philly

01.08.15: Technically Philly

Featuring a game desgined by Spark students from William Dick Elementary at company partner RJMetrics! 


Spark Featured on Esquire Network

12.23.14: Spark Featured on Esquire Network

Esquire TV features Spark in "How to Make a Man," a show about the importance of mentoring. 


Middle-schoolers paired with companies for real-world lessons

12.16.14: Middle-schoolers paired with companies for real-world lessons

The Los Angeles Times features Spark Los Angeles' "Discovery Night" event and profiles Spark students and their projects.


Spark Los Angeles hosts Discovery Night at Dodger Stadium

12.11.14: Spark Los Angeles hosts Discovery Night at Dodger Stadium

More than 250 students and their volunteer mentors from LA’s top companies showcased their career-based projects at Spark Los Angeles’ “Discovery Night” on December 9 at Dodger Stadium’s exclusive Stadium Club.


Dr. Adrian Haugabrook of Wheelock College Joins Spark Board of Directors

12.09.14: Dr. Adrian Haugabrook of Wheelock College Joins Spark Board of Directors

Spark Board Member, Dr. Adrian Haugabrook featured on the Boston Business Journal.


National Education Policy Expert Joins Spark’s National Board of Directors

12.01.14: National Education Policy Expert Joins Spark’s National Board of Directors

Youth mentoring nonprofit welcomes Wheelock College’s Dr. Adrian K. Haugabrook to the Board


Sparking the Next Generation of Students and Mentors

11.20.14: Sparking the Next Generation of Students and Mentors

Spark and Cornerstone OnDemand are working together to improve the student and mentor experience with a new online platform.




The Bold Italic Highlights Sugar Rush

10.11.14: The Bold Italic Highlights Sugar Rush

The Bold Italic helps to spread the word about Spark's signature fundraiser. 


Esquire Magazine Highlights Spark

09.16.14: Esquire Magazine Highlights Spark

Esquire magazine's October issues includes 50+ pages of mentoring coverage, including recommended mentoring organization like Spark!  


Development Executive Joins Spark National Team

09.10.14: Development Executive Joins Spark National Team

Spark Welcomes Jane Walsh, Managing Director of Development & Partnerships


Alyssa Rapp Joins Spark National Board

08.04.14: Alyssa Rapp Joins Spark National Board

Spark welcomes new National Board Member, Alyssa Rapp. 


Entrepreneur, CEO and Author Joins Spark’s National Board of Directors

07.30.14: Entrepreneur, CEO and Author Joins Spark’s National Board of Directors

Spark is pleased to welcome Alyssa Rapp as the newest member of its National Board of Directors.  Rapp is the Founder & CEO of Bottlenotes, Inc. where she runs the leading interactive media company in the U.S. for the wine and craft beer industry. She is also the author of Bottlenotes Guide to Wine: Around the World in 80 Sips.


Ask.com Helps Spark Thrive in Oakland

06.02.14: Ask.com Helps Spark Thrive in Oakland

Learn more about how Ask.com helped to successfully launch the Spark program in Oakland. 


Spark Celebrates Winning Cities in US2020 STEM Mentoring Competition

05.28.14: Spark Celebrates Winning Cities in US2020 STEM Mentoring Competition

Spark offers STEM-focused mentoring opportunities in three of the seven cities awarded!


Kim Davis Charlot Joins Spark Team

05.15.14: Kim Davis Charlot Joins Spark Team

Spark welcomes Kim Davis Charlot as Executive Director for the Bay Area region.  



Spark Board Member Named “Financial Woman of the Year”

05.12.14: Spark Board Member Named “Financial Woman of the Year”

Spark Board Vice Chair Sarah Friar was named the 2014 Woman of the Year by the Financial Women of San Francisco.


Spark CEO Presents at National GradNation Summit

04.25.14: Spark CEO Presents at National GradNation Summit

Jason Cascarino and fellow panelists present the case that investing in resources for the middle grades can reengage students and help increase graduation rates.


Spark Joins the GradNation Movement & More

03.27.14: Spark Joins the GradNation Movement & More

Catch up on Spark news, including their presentation at the GradNation Summit!


Former Spark Student Joins Advisory Board

03.26.14: Former Spark Student Joins Advisory Board

Spark San Francisco Bay Area welcomes former student, Ashley Quintana, as its most recent - and first ever program alumni – member to join their Advisory Board.


Spark Students Go Behind the Scenes at the 2014 Oscars Celebrations

02.28.14: Spark Students Go Behind the Scenes at the 2014 Oscars Celebrations

Eleven Spark LA students previewed the Oscars Winning Envelopes thanks to support from Marc Friedland Couture Communications!


Spark’s National Board Grows

02.13.14: Spark’s National Board Grows

Hilarie Koplow-McAdams joins Spark's National Board of Directors.  


Software Sales Veteran Joins Spark’s Board

02.12.14: Software Sales Veteran Joins Spark’s Board

Spark welcomes New Relic’s Hilarie Koplow-McAdams to the National Board of Directors!


Spark & the United Way Team Up to Fight Poverty

01.30.14: Spark & the United Way Team Up to Fight Poverty

This blog post from a Spark staff member addresses the challenges faced by Spark students. 


Tom Joyner Morning Show Helps Spark Recruit Mentors

01.23.14: Tom Joyner Morning Show Helps Spark Recruit Mentors

Spark Chicago calls for more mentors during National Mentoring Month on this radio show's "Community Watch" segment.  


Spark Celebrates “Thank Your Mentor Day”

01.16.14: Spark Celebrates “Thank Your Mentor Day”

Spark CEO Jason Cascarino recognizes the importance of mentoring and thanks Spark mentors for their work. 


Busch Update Radio Interviews Spark Founder

12.20.13: Busch Update Radio Interviews Spark Founder

Listen to Spark Co-Founder Chris Balme discuss social entrepreneurship with BlogTalk Radio host, Andrew Busch.  


My Mentorship at Ask.com

12.16.13: My Mentorship at Ask.com

Check out Ask.com's blog post about a Spark apprenticeship! 


Chicago Student Featured on Groupon Grassroots Blog

12.04.13: Chicago Student Featured on Groupon Grassroots Blog

Spark student Heaven shares her experience working with mentor Danielle at Groupon in Chicago.


The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring

11.20.13: The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring

"...connected learning is learning that is interest-driven, socially-embedded, and academically-oriented."  Learn more about how Spark's program model integrates connected learning in this article from The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring.


Chicago Business Journal

11.04.13: Chicago Business Journal

Spark's new CEO, Jason Cascarino, is featured in the People On the Move section. 


Spark Announces New CEO

11.01.13: Spark Announces New CEO

Meet Jason Cascarino, Spark's incoming CEO!


SFist.com: Go Do This: Spark’s Sugar Rush Fundraiser

10.21.13: SFist.com: Go Do This: Spark’s Sugar Rush Fundraiser

One of San Francisco's top sources for news and events recommends Spark's Sugar Rush as "guilt-free for a good cause!"



Wharton Magazine

10.10.13: Wharton Magazine

Read Spark Founder & CEO Chris Balme’s tips for quickly getting to know a nonprofit!  


Spark inspires 7th, 8th and 9th grade students to succeed in high school and beyond by connecting them with mentors in leading workplaces and supporting their academic journey with skill-building and resources. By engaging working professionals and connecting businesses with local communities, Spark empowers the next generation to perform better in school, graduate on time and lead fulfilling careers and lives.

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