Spark SC is a student-run organization at the University of Southern California. Through our Project Launch and Power Up programs we work closely with students at USC Hybrid High School, where our goal is to inspire a culture of innovation, expose these students to their creative potential, and connect makers across diverse communities. Many students of Hybrid High School come from communities that face significant social problems such as gang violence, and 75% of the 2018 graduating class qualifies for free or reduced-price lunch. These students lack similar career opportunities and exposure as those in other communities, which is why we created Project Launch and Power Up.
Project Launch is a semester-long program that provides the skills for ambitious, underprivileged high school students in downtown Los Angeles to succeed in today's rapidly growing technology sector. To expand our reach, we also run Power Up, a two-day all-girls tech and entrepreneur conference for female high school students at Hybrid High. The program will provide them with a foundation in technical and professional skills, hopefully jump-starting and strengthening their interest in technology and entrepreneurship. With Project Launch and Power Up, we will provide some of the lacking resources (e.g. role models, co-curricular and networking opportunities, and persistent access to technology) that these students are not able to receive elsewhere. This will allow them to have a more equitable footing once they reach college.
We want to help inspire first-generation high school students to tackle issues in their community through entrepreneurial solutions. We want to hold a diverse range of workshops in skills ranging from graphic design to web programming, pair each high school student with a USC student as a mentor, and partner with companies like Buzzfeed and Science Inc. to expose our students to industry opportunities. We want to be able to:
- Inspire these brilliant, under-served students to their true creative potential by exposing them to business, technology, and design skills.
- Create a growth mindset within the students that allows them to tackle future problems in their community in creative and innovative ways
In order for us to accomplish these, Project Launch and Power Up will allow us to:
- Pair young students with a USC student mentor to help guide them through the program and form a relationship that lasts beyond Project Launch.
- Allow students the opportunity to talk with successful female entrepreneurs and professionals in the Los Angeles area who can inspire them through their stories about how they got to where they are today.
- Have two workshops each week where students will be introduced to business, design, and technology skills utilized in emerging industries.
- Provide one-on-one support from USC students experienced with the material being taught in the workshops.
- Help them to gain access to a curated list of events and experiences in Los Angeles that they are invited to attend, such as pitch competitions, company tours, and career fairs.
- Assist students with their own personal portfolio with the skills gained from the workshops.
- Have a showcase of the student's work to show to their peers, USC students, and industry supporters.
- Help these young students come out with a newfound sense of confidence and foundation to pursue their interests in tech and business.
We believe in young people’s capacity to grow, learn, and succeed. USC excels in providing its students with opportunities to build skills, secure jobs, and become leaders—we want to extend this empowerment to students in the surrounding community as well. Our goal is to foster diversity in entrepreneurship and enable a diverse generation of future leaders.
But in order for us to make all of this happen, we need donor support!
Over the last three years, we have had amazing success thanks to all of our donors and sponsors. This year we not only want to continue that success, we want to grow and be able to inspire even more students.
We are trying to raise $5,000 in support of our campaign that would go to support the following:
- Workshop Materials:
- Hardware Materials - During our hardware workshop, we have limited access to the basic building blocks for beginners in hardware. The students would greatly benefit from a supply of Arduino microprocessors, breadboards and compatible hardware devices such as speakers or microphones.
- Basic Learning Materials - We want to make sure our "Rockets" (young students) have the ability to grow and reach their true potential. To do this, we need to provide them with the basic materials like stationary, pens, pencils, and others.
- Investment in Program Support:
- Logistics and Marketing - Donor support will help with transportation costs to bring participants to USC for workshops and for us to provide students with Project Launch t-shirts and stickers.
- Food - Project Launch occurs right after school and we want to help our students focus all their energy on the material and the program.
No matter the size of the gift you choose to make, every gift matters!
For example, a gift of $5 will help pay for one student's lunch at our day-long hackathon and a gift of $10 will help to pay for one student's transportation between USC and Hybrid High for the semester.
We hope you're as inspired as we are by the students we are trying to help. Please make a gift TODAY in support of our Power-Up Campaign.
Thank you for your support! FIGHT ON!
For individuals and corporations interested in donating at the $500 and above, we encourage you to checkout the Spark SC sponsorship page on our website and contact us at email@example.com.
Read more about the past success Project Launch has had and how our students attest to the deep impact of our program here. Project Launch has also been recognized in articles by the LA Times and USC’s Daily Trojan!
For more information about SparkSC, please follow us on social media at:
The Official SparkSC Website: https://www.projectlaunch.io/
SparkSC Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/gosparksc/
SparkSC Official Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/gosparksc/?hl=en
SparkSC Official Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/gosparksc?lang=en
The University of Southern California is a 501(c)(3) organization, so gifts and donations to USC are considered charitable contributions. Gifts in support of the Student Projects Fund are tax-deductible in accordance with State and Federal law. Donors to USC should contact their tax advisor or tax accountant when inquiring about their individual tax consequences. USC’s federal tax I.D. number is 95-1642394.
Make sure to come back and check out our “Updates” tab for news about our campaign, as well as to see YOUR NAME posted as one of our loyal donors. If you have any questions about this campaign or would like to remain an anonymous donor on our “Updates” page, please contact Jane Ong, Senior Associate Director of Development for the USC Viterbi School of Engineering at: firstname.lastname@example.org / 213.821.2921.