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TYSON PRESENTS SPARK WITH $50,000 CHECK
Expanding Possibilities for Chicago Middle Schoolers
November 20, 2017 – Chicago – Equipping people with the skills for success in the workplace is critical to create a healthy community. As a long-time supporter of education and workforce development, Tyson Foods has awarded Spark a $50,000 grant to support Spark Lab, Spark Mentorship, and High School Pathways programming during the 2017-18 school year. The Tyson grant represents the largest investment by a corporate partner since Spark launched in Chicago in 2011.
Since 2013, Tyson has partnered with Spark to provide Career Exploration and Self-Discovery opportunities for 130 middle school youth across Chicago. Through Spark Mentorships, over 100 Tyson employees have helped seventh and eighth grade students explore who they want to become through workplace-based volunteerism. What began as two volunteers passionate about giving back to their community, has grown into Tyson becoming the first company in Chicago to support an entire class of Spark Students at one school and a prime example of what a corporate partnership built on collaboration and innovation can yield.
“Coming to the Tyson office exposes Spark Students to new careers paths, and we help them understand what it takes to succeed,” said Tina Lambert, Senior Director of Foodservice Innovation, Tyson Foods, Inc. “Our students leave with new dreams, and a clearer understanding of why education matters. After a few months of working together, we see a change in the student’s confidence, an increased focus on schoolwork, and a shift in the careers that they are considering.”
This year, Spark is partnering with 34 corporations to host Spark Lab and Spark Mentorships for over 400 Chicago Public Schools students. “Corporate partners like Tyson are critical role to helping students build the skills and social capital necessary for a successful future”, says Ashley Richardson, Executive Director for Spark in Chicago. “The Tyson team infuses Spark into their company culture, leading to benefits for their employees and valuable career exploration and self-discovery opportunities for our students. Tyson truly embodies what it means to lead The Possibility Movement and we are grateful for their leadership”.
Spark is a Career Exploration and Self-Discovery Program that gives middle school students opportunities to understand, experience and pursue what’s possible for their future. Spark is leading The Possibility Movement by bringing together diverse communities of families, schools and companies who care, share, teach and inspire. Spark Lab, Spark Mentorship and Spark High School Pathways use workplace experiences, mentoring and guided support to help students in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia explore careers, build skills and find the right path to a successful future. Learn more at sparkprogram.org.
About Tyson Foods, Inc.
Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN) is one of the world’s largest food companies and a recognized leader in protein. Founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson and grown under three generations of family leadership, the company has a broad portfolio of products and brands like Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells®, ibp® and State Fair®. Tyson Foods innovates continually to make protein more sustainable, tailor food for everywhere it’s available and raise the world’s expectations for how much good food can do. Headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, the company has 114,000 team members. Through its Core Values, Tyson Foods strives to operate with integrity, create value for its shareholders, customers, communities and team members and serve as a steward of the animals, land and environment entrusted to it. Visit www.tysonfoods.com.