Our Impact

Today, Spark the Journey supports more than 623 students.

Spark the Journey is designed to be the point of convergence, where everyone can participate in the collective success of our community. From our students, mentors, board members, and partners, to our donors and team members, everyone comes together to help our young adults succeed.​ Success, for us, is more than just helping our students attend and graduate college or thrive in their careers. We strive to prepare future leaders to be the catalyst for breaking cycles of poverty, realizing racial equity, closing the opportunity gap, and uplifting entire communities.​ 

Our impact by the numbers

“I had a fantastic support team as a Spark student. Caroline, my mentor, supported me throughout high school during every step in the college application process. She prepared me by introducing the SAT/ACT prep during my sophomore year and provided support with my AP and honor courses. She encouraged me to apply to multiple universities, and when my passion changed from law to marine biology, she supported me with the transition. She edited my papers and supported me with my personal statements for college and my senior capstone. Caroline drove me and picked me up from my orientation when I decided to attend Shepherd University.”

– Jasmine, Spark Alumna


We build supportive mentorships that often last for a lifetime.  

By pairing dedicated volunteer mentors within communities with high school and college students who are not receiving the support they need at school, we help advance the growth, goals, and dreams of young people.

We go above and beyond to support students in whatever path they choose to pursue.  

Regardless of a student’s goals, we support them in applying to and attending college, directly entering a career path, or taking a gap year to figure out what they want to do with the support of a caring mentor.

We partner with communities and businesses to increase experience and opportunity.  

Students need the chance to explore what they’re most passionate about. Our youth mentoring programs help them find opportunities for internship placements, direct career entry, college admission preparation support, and more.

We help build the foundation for greater economic mobility.  

Studies show that education is one of the keys to increase social and economic mobility—which is why we’re dedicated to supporting the academic and professional growth of students on the cusp of college eligibility

Student Stories

A Journey Towards Achieving My Physical Therapy Dreams

“Disparities within the healthcare system particularly affect those who are lower-income and have experienced life altering injuries. African Americans are disproportionately likely to be uninsured, partly due to the high-cost barriers to health insurance that still exist for many. After learning this, I knew I wanted to pursue a medical career.”

– Makaio, Spark Student

A Moment That Helped Me Choose My Career Path

“This moment of my mother returning my hug, and the relationship it helped us build, has helped me so much as a person. It is part of why I want to pursue a psychology degree because I want to help others, especially children, understand that they deserve love and are loved.”

– Saniyah

Read our annual report to learn about what you helped Spark the Journey achieve in 2023.