Harvardwood partners with The Spark Program!

Harvardwood is pleased to announce an ongoing partnership with The Spark Program through our Harvardwood Helps community service initiative!

The Spark Program is the only youth empowerment program in the country that addresses the dropout crisis by re-engaging at-risk students through hands-on, individualized apprenticeships. These workplace-based apprenticeships—in professions each student has identified as a "dream job”—are complemented by a leadership curriculum, integrated in the classroom as an elective. Over the course of a semester students meet with his or her Apprentice Teacher once a week for two hours and work on a project for the culminating Discovery Night ceremony that is held at the end of the semester. The Spark experience creates a powerful sense of relevance for students, while providing the skills and confidence necessary to find success in school and in life.

Spark offers this program to 7th and 8th grade students, through after-school programs, in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, with plans to expand to Chicago for the 2011-2012 school year. By partnering with this innovative program, we hope to further Harvardwood's mission of strengthening ties between the arts, media, entertainment and education -- we encourage all of our members to get involved!

See below for more information on becoming a Spark mentor, or sign-up right now at their website.

Spark Seeks Volunteer Mentors to Inspire the Future of Your Field...Right At Your Workplace!


WHAT: Host and inspire a middle-school apprentice who dreams of working in your profession! Teach your apprentice about your field and work together to create a small "teach back” project to be presented at Discovery Night, Spark’s version of a graduation celebration. Video game designers, writers, web design, chefs, doctors, entertainment, fashion, animal care, architecture....and more! There are students seeking so many professions!

WHY: To help re-engage students in their education by giving them the opportunity to learn about their dream career and help motivate and empower them to take hold of their future at a pivotal point in their lives.

WHERE: At your workplace! Students come to you for their apprenticeship, getting real-world, hands-on experience in your field. Don’t have an office? No problem. Spark can arrange for a school-based apprenticeship.

WHEN: The Spring session is from March to the first week of June with exact dates determined by your student match. During that time, apprenticeships take place once a week for two hours on Thursday afternoons. You will also be asked to attend an evening Orientation and Discovery Night.

REQUIREMENTS: No experience necessary! Spark provides free training and is there with you at every step to answer questions and offer support. Every Apprentice Teacher is, however, required to pass a background check and site clearance visit at your office.

BENEFITS: The many benefits of being an Apprentice Teacher include connecting with like-minded community members through list-serves and exclusive events, marketing your business on Spark’s website and other promotional materials for free, and knowing that you’re making a difference in a student’s life!

Carlos the architect: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdfCmsPkIdg

Sonya @ Stanford: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQdvD0ej_hY

From the volunteer’s perspective: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKWxmXEpC4E

Sign-up here to volunteer: http://sparkprogram.org/forms/volunteer


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