Skills-Based Volunteering with the Spark Program

This fall, 24 members of the Penn community volunteered their time and skills as Spark Mentors. Wharton Social Impact Initiative invites you to join us to hear about their experiences, and consider if you may want to mentor this spring.

Spark apprentices work on a project at the Wharton Social Impact Initiative office.
Spark apprentices work on a project at the Wharton Social Impact Initiative office.

We are excited for Penn students and staff to learn more about one of our community partners. Spark works with schools and workplaces to match under-served 7th and 8th graders with mentors working in career fields aligned with the students’ strengths and interests. Spark’s parallel in-school curriculum reinforces the link between classrooms and careers, while helping students build skills key to success in the 21st century.

In collaboration with Penn’s support for the Henry C. Lea school, Spark is seeking mentors to host Lea 7th graders on Thursday afternoons this semester, over 10 weeks starting in March 2014.

This spring, Spark will serve more than 100 students from six Philadelphia public schools.  Penn staff and graduate students have hosted middle school students in each of Spark’s sessions so far, helping establish and grow the program in Philadelphia.

Please join us for a morning workshop and breakfast to explore whether mentoring is right for you.

Spark Info Session and Mentor Celebration

  • When: Thursday, February 6, 8:30-9:30 a.m.
  • Where: Penn Campus — Vance Hall 103, 3733 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA

Light breakfast will be served. Please RSVP here: With questions, please contact Sandra Maro Hunt.

More about Spark: Founded in 2004, Spark is a national nonprofit that addresses the drop-out crisis by connecting skilled professionals with underserved, at-risk, 7th and 8th graders in workplace apprenticeships to “spark” their potential. Visit WSII’s projects and partnerships page to learn more about the Wharton-Spark collaboration.