Every summer Spark-Y hosts an entrepreneurial internship: Sustainable Education Internship Center (SEIC). Our internship gives the opportunity for youth and young professionals to learn, connect, and grow in our organization while gaining employment experience.
Our largest internship by far, the 2015 Internship really championed the community development mission that Spark-Y strives toward daily. With nearly 40 interns (and 10+ internship projects), Spark-Y was able to leave its mark all across the Twin Cities. In addition to improvements at our Sustainable Education Lab, Spark-Y forged incredible partnerships this year with the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and Gastro Truck (a sustainability-conscious food truck headquartered in North East Minneapolis). It was during this time that Spark-Y also announced an initiative to scale up its production and become an urban farming hub with a specific emphasis on youth empowerment and community outreach.
As another sign that the sustainability movement is on the move, our 2014 Internship was yet again our largest to date. With nearly 30 high school students, college students, and young professionals, this passionate group was responsible for a number of formative innovations at Spark-Y. In particular, this year marked to begining of an initiative to bring sustainable, organic, local, youth-grown produce to our community. In September of 2014, we began selling produce from our aquaponics systems to local area restaurants, farmers’ markets and community members.
Special thanks to our 2013 Internship participants. This was truly a pivotal year for our organization. The team successfully expanded our sustainable programming, including the introduction of hugelkultur, transformed our lab with new projects and designed 3 learning gardens outside our office. We couldn’t be more proud of this awesome team of individuals.
2012 Internship participants laid important groundwork for Spark-Y headquarters and programming, with comprehensive recycling systems, urban agriculture and education guides, and the beginnings of our school program at MNIC Unity – now a thriving student-run business. Thank you 2012 interns!
Our 2011 Internship proved so successful that we have since run one every year! Hard work on all signature systems, media, and a culminating fundraiser event were among interns’ many accomplishments. Thanks to the great group of people that made it happen!