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Career & College Success Highlight: Spark Industry Introduction Program

Oct. 12, 2021
Student sitting in a car in front of a school

Throughout October, DPS is highlighting inspiring student stories as part of our celebration of Career & College Success Month. Today we are highlighting Jackson’s story about his experience in the Spark Industry Introduction Program. Jackson is one of over 1,900 elementary and middle school students who participated in the Spark program last year, which partners with Denver metro area businesses to introduce students to various career opportunities. The Spark program helps students learn and interact with a variety of professionals, inspiring them to consider careers they may never have considered prior to participating in Spark.  

“When I attended NREL (National Renewable Energy Lab) I was in 6th grade here at Merrill. My favorite part of it was learning about the different careers at NREL. I loved learning about the different careers because it expanded the horizons of all the different careers I could have. Attending SPARK positively impacted me because I learned so much about how renewable energy works. I learned the science behind solar panels, windmills, etc.” – Jackson Kurzdorfer

Business partners find the Spark experience inspiring as well, as Cassie Slade from Women in Transportation states, “I really love sharing what I do and letting so many young people know that there are people that design/analyze the roadway networks they use every day.”

To date, 17 elementary and middle schools in DPS have Spark Industry Introduction programs and that number is growing! Visit or email to learn more!