Join Spark

Volunteers - Mentorship

Make a Difference, Right From Your Desk

What does mentorship mean to you? None of us would be where we are today without the support and inspiration of caring adults who helped us find the right path. Spark gives you the opportunity to show a middle school student all that’s possible for their education, career and future.

Share Your Time, Your Workplace and Your Career

You’ll also bring new meaning to your own work: three out of every four mentors say that Spark increased their satisfaction, motivation and appreciation for their job.

You’ll Be in Good Company

By mentoring a Spark student, you’ll join a community of advocates and supporters from all different fields and stages of their careers — a software engineer straight out of college, a marketing executive managing her own team, even a CEO running an entire company. The Possibility Movement is built on close relationships and mutual support.

Spark Provides:

Training

Better understand your role, responsibilities and best practices for working with middle school students

Weekly Agendas

Spark helps you plan your sessions with ice-breakers, skill-building activities and clear instructions

Online Resources

Easily accessible through Spark Online, there are a variety of resources at your fingertips

Designated Account Manager

Spark’s professional team provides coaching and support throughout the program

Mentoring Benefits

74% of Mentors

Have increased their satisfaction, motivation and appreciation for their job

71% of Mentors

Build deeper connections with their coworkers

77% of Mentors

Developed new skills such as communication, leadership and collaboration

79% of Mentors

Feel closer to their community

FAQ's

How does Spark work?

How does Spark work?

Spark engages communities to provide career exploration and self-discovery opportunities that help middle school students understand, experience and pursue what’s possible. Spark Lab invites 7th graders into various workplaces for an on-site workshop to help students understand what’s possible for their future and career. By connecting students with identified career interests, Spark offers Workplace-Based Mentorships for 7th grade students so they can experience what it’s like to work in a specific industry while receiving direct guidance from a mentor.  Spark offers High School Pathways to 8th and 9th grade students so they can take action and feel equipped with the knowledge and resources to make the possibilities they’ve experienced real.

Who are Spark Students?

Who are Spark Students?

Spark Students are 7th, 8th and 9th graders at one of Spark’s partner schools. They are students open to new opportunities and experiences and ready to explore possibilities with a committed mentor.

What communities does Spark work within?

What communities does Spark work within?

Each community Spark works with has displayed a need for additional resources to support student access to increased academic enrichment opportunities. 

What does mentoring with Spark entail?

What does mentoring with Spark entail?

Spark Mentors are caring adults who want to share their workplace, career and life experiences with students. All Spark Mentors complete a training and clearance requirements that vary by location. The mentoring commitment is 13 weeks in the fall and/or spring and includes a Match Day to meet your student for the first time; structured mentorship sessions at your workplace; and a culminating event to share the project you and your student create! Spark guides and supports mentors through every aspect of the program with weekly emails, online resources and personalized coaching.

I often travel for work. What happens if I have to miss a mentorship session?

I often travel for work. What happens if I have to miss a mentorship session?

Communication and consistency are key! You have 13 sessions with your student and consistent attendance is important. We also understand that many professions require travel. If you must miss a session, try to communicate this information directly to your student. It is also important that you notify Spark as soon as possible. We will work with you to create a plan for your student to collaborate with a fill-in mentor in your office.

I’ve never worked with middle school students before. What should I expect?

I’ve never worked with middle school students before. What should I expect?

Spark Students and Mentors are paired based on shared interests and skill sets. Every student has a unique “spark” within them. Activities are designed to help students and mentors uncover commonalities and explore new things together. Middle school students in particular are typically exploring the world and their identities. Some may be shy and others outgoing. Some students may have never been to an office or may not know how to interact with professionals in the workplace. Provide a listening ear and open support. Remember, this will be a new relationship and it will take time to get to know each other. Each skill and activity is specifically designed to meet middle school students where they are and guide them along a path to find their “spark.” Spark staff members are only a phone call or email away and can answer any questions and provide recommendations.

My job is boring! What would I even do that could be interesting for a middle schooler?

My job is boring! What would I even do that could be interesting for a middle schooler?

Spark Students and Mentors are paired based on shared interests and skill sets. Activities are designed to help students and mentors uncover commonalities and explore new things together. Weekly activities and the creation of a Spark Project keep students engaged and make every career an opportunity to explore new possibilities. What may seem mundane is often new and exciting for a 7th grader! 

What types of projects do students and mentors do?

What types of projects do students and mentors do?

Spark Projects are a great opportunity for students to explore their interests and for mentors to share and apply their professional skills. Projects range from business plans, to apps, to photography exhibits and more! 

What other companies work with Spark?

What other companies work with Spark?

Learn more about our Corporate Partners

What is Spark’s impact?

What is Spark’s impact?

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. Learn more about our impact.

What are Spark Projects?

What are Spark Projects?

Spark Students and Mentors create interest-driven projects throughout the course of Spark Mentorships.  View the Spark Project Gallery to see examples.

Join The Possibility Movement

When you volunteer to mentor with Spark, you show students a window into a future they never knew possible.

Become a Mentor
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