Spark Employee Spotlight with Jennifer Ventura

Jennifer is a Program Manager on the Program Design Team at Spark the Journey where she helps develop and support new partnership programs such as the Year Up Mentorship Program. She serves as a resource and support system for the program coordinator in the Program Design team and for mentee-mentor pairs to develop meaningful relationships and cultivate the skills young adults need to excel in the workplace.

What made you want to work at Spark the Journey? 

As an alumnus of the program, I was able to see firsthand the support and resources Spark the Journey provides their participants and I wanted to be able to provide the same support and guidance to other young people.

Who’s a person in your life that ignited a spark in your journey?

A person who ignited spark in my journey was my sister, Milagro, who would push me from a young age to try new opportunities and gain experiences that would later help me choose the best career for me. Due to that support, I was able to intern at the Smithsonian, in a clinic, in a congressional program, and at various organizations that provided opportunities to young people.

What college did you attend, and what was your favorite thing about it? 

I transferred and received my degree at the University of the District of Columbia. My favorite thing about UDC was the amount of support they provided to their students. Majoring in social work and being first gen, I had many questions and concerns, and knowing I was able to reach out to the professors to get the support I needed was very important to me. I think transferring there was one of my best decisions of my career.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Currently I enjoy trying new restaurants, going to concerts, and spending time with my dog and boyfriend.

If you could meet anyone, past or present, who would it be? 

If I could meet anyone, I would like to meet the Mirabal Sisters: Patria, Minerva, and Maria Teresa. They were political activists in the Dominican Republic.

What three traits define you? 

Three traits that define me the best would be creative, empathic and open-minded.

What’s the most rewarding aspect about your role at Spark the Journey? 

The most rewarding aspect about my role at Spark the Journey is seeing a program develop from scratch and then seeing how it has a positive effect on the lives of the young people we serve.

What’s your favorite part about working at Spark the Journey? 

My favorite part of working at Spark the Journey is the sense of community that is built with staff and the young people in our programs.