Our goal is to provide mentorship and a community of support for young adults to chart their own paths to achieving college and career success.
“I joined Spark the Journey because I wanted a mentor to help me navigate my way through high school. I wanted to become a better student and a better student-athlete. My mentor, Kevin, has helped me achieve those goals. My life would have been more stressful without my mentor and Spark the Journey, especially during the pandemic. Having a mentor during this time allowed me to stay on track and be goal-oriented.”
– Joshua Graves, Spark the Journey student
“Rosario graduated from college magna cum laude in May 2020, at the height of economic uncertainty when companies were rescinding offers and halting hiring. I quickly shifted from Rosario’s mentor and friend to her career coach, helping her think through different options, prepare for interviews, and review offers. Through a lot of diligence, networking, and hard work, Rosario was able to land a job she was excited about right after graduation. ”
– Emily Field, Spark the Journey mentor of 10 years
“Without my mentor, I would have continued to struggle and would be so unsure about my aspirations and goals. My mentoring relationship caused me to take opportunities to make my life better.”
– Kerry Burns, Spark the Journey student
“I’ve been a Spark the Journey student for three years. This program has brought value into my life by exposing me to different skills that will transition with me into adulthood. They have exposed me to things like interviewing skills, networking opportunities, and communication skills. My mentor is also very supportive of me. Her support has made me more confident in my future. I hope to become a computer software engineer. ”
– Camille, Spark the Journey student
“Camille has grown ever since she joined Spark the Journey in 9th grade. She began to express herself more. Marian, her mentor, played a big part in that. Marian has come into our family, as a big sister. I have told the entire family about her. She’s taken Camille on outings and they’ve completed projects together. The impact she’s made in our lives has been a blessing.”
– Ms. Norris, Spark the Journey parent
Students in Spark the Journey’s program typically reside in communities where they are not receiving the same support to get to and through college as other students. Many reside in Wards 5, 7, and 8 of Washington, D.C., where data shows they’re negatively impacted by the drastic income inequality in the District.
As of January 2021
18% of Ward 8 residents 16 and older are unemployed compared to the national average of 6.3%
In Ward 5, the median income of White households is 2.5 times higher than Black households
Only 19% of Ward 7 residents have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher
The Power of Relationships
With your help, we’ve supported more than 830 students in Washington, D.C.