Bright Minds, Bright Futures: The Transformative Power of Education
Tobi Agurkis | community programs, education, mexico, nicaragua, technology literacy, We Grow Chicago, zambia
At Spark Ventures, we are committed to our mission of providing sustainable solutions to lift communities out of poverty and empower future leaders. Education is an essential part of Spark’s mission because it is key to individual sustainability, helping to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. The life-changing programs that Spark supports around the world are providing bright futures – today and for generations to come. Through our investment and involvement, we are continuing to provide critical educational opportunities that have the power to transform lives.
In San Pancho, Mexico, Entreamigos takes a non-traditional approach to education. Young students facing academic and behavioral challenges are enrolled in “The Jungle Group,” an afterschool program. Through diverse educational initiatives, tutoring, and mentoring, students find a flexible environment that meets their specific needs. Emilia is one of these students. Emilia’s experience in “The Jungle Group” transformed her confidence and enthusiasm for learning. Now motivated to learn to read and write, she looks forward to joining a special group for extra support. Entreamigos’ positive learning environment and life skills empower students like Emilia to succeed in all aspects of life.
On the Peace Campus, We Grow Chicago is committed to uniting and uplifting the West Englewood community. The “Spark Inspiration Lab” empowers future leaders through technology and software programs; increasing digital literacy and nurturing entrepreneurial spirits. Connecting students with parent volunteers and mentors, these classes inspire the development of strong characters and the exploration of imagination. With the technological and educational background needed to succeed in the twenty-first century, students are equipped to pursue their dreams, ensuring a bright future for all at the “Spark Inspiration Lab.”
In Zambia, Hope Community School provides critical support to over 550 high-risk children. Jessica, a student at Hope for over 8 years, experienced the transformative effects of this support. When Jessica arrived at Hope, she didn’t know how to read and struggled to make friendships. Now, Jessica is proud of how far she’s come! The educational programs at Hope have taught Jessica excellent communication skills and critical thinking techniques- and she’s a confident public speaker! The teachers at Hope provided Jessica with the tools she needed to be successful, and the education to pursue her dreams.
In Nicaragua, Las Tias teaches skill-building, business, and entrepreneurship. Allison Valeska Flores Ortiz has been a beneficiary of Las Tias for over ten years, which has given her opportunities to combine her passion for baking with entrepreneurship. Using the business, administrative, and entrepreneurial lessons she’s learned at Las Tias, Allison has spent the last two years making and selling donuts, cheese fingers, and empanadas with her father. Outside of her personal business initiative, Allison is beginning a program at a technical institute! Thanks to the graphic design skills Allison has learned at Las Tias, she has the background to succeed in her desired career path.