Spark Joins Epic Foundation Portfolio

Spark Named One of 10 - In a Field of More than 1,900 Nonprofits - Added to Epic Foundation Global Portfolio

National nonprofit supporting students in the middle grades joins two other U.S. charities, and nonprofits from six other countries, in 2016 Epic Foundation portfolio inductees 

Spark was selected as one of 10 organizations - among 1,900 applicants at-large - added to Epic Foundation’s existing global portfolio of 20. Founded in San Francisco in 2004, Spark inspires seventh, eighth and ninth graders in underserved communities to succeed in high school and beyond by engaging with mentors and future careers.  The organization’s work directly aligns with the Epic Foundation’s goal to provide the next generation of donors access to organizations with the most effective solutions for fighting inequalities faced by children and youth around the world.

“As one of 10 organizations from seven countries added this year, we are humbled by this inclusion and are eager to share our work and impact with investors,” said Jason Cascarino, CEO of Spark.  “Spark’s tailor-made model powerfully expands students’ career possibilities and builds skills and social capital at a time when it’s most needed.  We believe these supports at this time help level the playing field for students and ensure long-term success.”

In the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia, Spark’s proven model intervenes early to reach students in the middle grades at a critical inflection point. The organization emboldens more than 1,700 students annually to succeed in high school and beyond by connecting them with mentors in leading workplaces and inspiring their learning journey. One-to-one mentorships are supplemented with skill building, workshops and resources for students and their families.  Supported by more than 80 hours of powerful, hands-on programming, 92% of Spark students have graduated or are on track to graduate on time, compared to an average of 68% in the districts Spark serves.

More than 1,900 Epic Foundation global portfolio applicants were reviewed for impact, operations and leadership.  The 10 portfolio additions, including Spark, span four sectors within the field of child and youth-related causes: Health, Education, Rights and Protection and Economic Empowerment.

“Through our portfolio of rigorously vetted social organizations, we can now connect the next generation of donors to 10 more exceptional organizations that are saving lives and empowering children and youth globally,” said Alexandre Mars, CEO and Founder of Epic Foundation. “We are delighted to make Spark a part of this collective effort to produce a big impact.”


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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