Spark Employee Spotlight with Jose Lima Rosas

Jose Lima Rosas is a Program Manager at Spark the Journey where he helps develop, implement, and oversee the goals of Spark’s post-secondary program, while also helping to manage a caseload of student-mentor pairs. He serves as a resource and support system for post-secondary students and their mentors to help ensure our students are developing a meaningful relationship with their mentor and cultivating the skills they need to meet and exceed their academic and/or professional post-secondary goals.

What made you want to work at Spark the Journey? 

I wanted to work at Spark the Journey because the organization afforded me the opportunity to do work with younger folks who came from similar backgrounds as me, as well as a unique role where I could help identify and build on their strengths. Working at Spark allows me to provide the guidance that I sometimes wish I received growing up as a first-generation, low-income student.

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

My parents did an amazing job of encouraging me to forge my own path, rather than laying out a path for me to follow. Growing up, they always encouraged me to try new things and let my interests guide me. I think this approach really helped spark my journey because in high school, I was constantly trying new things and eventually stumbled upon the field of psychology. I loved it so much, I ended up majoring in it!

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

University of Maryland, College Park, where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. My favorite thing about attending UMD was its proximity to DC. Because DC was only a quick metro ride from campus, there was never a shortage of research, volunteering, networking, and leisure opportunities!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Most of my free time is spent around music. I love listening to music, discovering new music online, visiting record stores, and going to concerts. I’m always open to recommendations!

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

Easily Bad Bunny. I adore his music (I saw him three times in 2022!), and I’m also a huge fan of his activism and the ways that he tries to center marginalized voices in his work.

What three traits define you? 

Creative, spirited, and humorous.

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

It’s very rewarding to hear the relief that many students experience after having their questions answered, getting connected to a resource, or simply having someone check-in on them. As a first-generation student, I know what it’s like to navigate the world of work and school with many questions and worries about next steps. It’s great to be in a role where I can be a resource to folks and hopefully make these next steps less daunting.

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

I love the different conversations that I get to have with my team and our program participants. I’ve always enjoyed hearing peoples’ stories about their lives and goals, and I love that I get to have so many of these conversations on a daily basis.