Spark: Youth Empowerment Program Looking for Workplace Mentors

August 8, 2013


#2 Mitchell & Michael

The Issue: Our country’s high school dropout rate – 25% nationally – is a deep injustice and an economic tragedy. Oakland’s high school drop out rate is a staggering 39%. High dropout rates are devastating to students, families, and local economies.

About Spark: Spark is the only youth empowerment program in the country that addresses the dropout crisis by re-engaging students through hands-on, individualized apprenticeships ( These workplace-based apprenticeships—in careers each student is interested in exploring—are complemented by a leadership curriculum, integrated in the classroom as an elective. Over the course of a semester students will meet with his or her Mentor once a week for two hours, for eight weeks. During that time, an apprentice and their mentor will work on a small project for the culminating ceremony (called Discovery Night) 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.

#1 Leslie & Elinor

Get Involved: For more information about Spark, please contact Shireen Javandel, Bay Area Program Coordinator at or at (415) 626-5470 ex. 111. If you are interested in volunteering, please fill out the mentor application by clicking here (the first step to becoming a mentor)!


About Shireen Javandel

Shireen is a Program Coordinator with Spark where she facilitates apprenticeships for middle school students in Oakland. She is a Bay Area native who is excited to empower youth and engage the local professional community.

View all posts by Shireen Javandel

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