Student Stories


Your support helps us provide life-changing experiences to these amazing students, and many more like them! These are some of their stories.


Almanika: Animal Care
Chicago, IL

Almanika is a caregiver at heart. This 8th grader not only loves babies, but she also loves taking care of animals, especially baby animals. Through her apprenticeship, Almanika learned about the field of veterinary medicine at Furnetic with her mentor Melissa, a veterinary technician.  Melissa taught Almanika how to run lab work, set up fluids and put them in catheters, and how to find bacteria and yeast through a microscope. At the culminating Career Day event, Almanika showed off her knowledge of how to use the microscope by teaching her peers how to examine blood smears.


Gabrielle: Journalism & Media
Chicago, IL

Gabrielle was so excited when she found out that she would be working at the Chicago Tribune for her apprenticeship. Over the course of eight weeks, she learned how to conduct interviews, pitch her ideas to newspaper editors, edit her stories, and get published from her mentors Julie and Melissa. Gabrielle even published a story she composed during her apprenticeship in "Smart Boards in The Mash," a weekly newspaper for teens run by the Chicago Tribune.


Luis: Computers & Technology
Chicago, IL

7th grader Luis worked at IDEO, a design and innovation consulting firm in Chicago.  Luis loves action games and movies, and is interested in how designers make 3-D characters and motion.  During his apprenticeship, Luis worked with Burton, a video game designer.  His favorite part of the apprenticeship was seeing his App, Spicy Squid and the Saltwater Syndicate, go from an abstract idea on a Post-it to a drawing to a digitalized image!


Khristian: Architecture & Design
Chicago, IL

7th grader Khristian completed an apprenticeship at IDEA Architects with her mentor Dina.  Khristian is inquisitive, and loves learning about how to design buildings and about the business aspects of running an architecture firm.  Her favorite part of her apprenticeship was using Revit, a building information and modeling software program, which she used to design her Discovery Night project -- her dream house.  Over the course of their eight weeks together, Dina noticed that Khristian made increasing connections between working hard now and achieving her goals for her future.


Kyle: Computers & Technology
Chicago, IL

7th grader Kyle loves video games, writing, and being creative.  So for his apprenticeship, he worked at CareerBuilder to create his own imaginary video game company.  He worked with his mentor Rachel to design a website for his company, including his own logo.  Kyle, normally very shy, became much more outgoing during Leadership Class throughout the course of his apprenticeship.  Today, he is more confident in class, and feels comfortable sharing his ideas with his peers.

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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