The acronym SPARK stands for Strength, Potential, Aspire/Aspiration, Responsibility, and Knowledge. SPARK is one of the Junior League of Lubbock’s signature projects. The SPARK program is designed to ignite the potential of middle school girls to develop into self-confident students and leaders making a positive impact in their community. The program teaches teamwork, self-confidence, the value of education and the impact of community involvement through voluntarism.
The History of SPARK
In June 2012, JLL membership chose education as its five-year focus area. In an effort to further JLL’s strategic plan to “create more community impact by continuing and strengthening community projects and building upon these to develop new projects that will serve even more children and families in our area,” the Research and Development Committee developed SPARK to educate and mentor Lubbock-area eighth-grade girls. JLL membership voted to adopt SPARK as a new signature project in September 2012 and the program was officially launched in June 2013.
In its inaugural year, JLL implemented SPARK in four Lubbock ISD schools: Smylie Wilson Middle School, Atkins Middle School, Cavazos Middle School and Dunbar Middle School. The first SPARK class was comprised of 10 to 15 young women from each school who were identified by teachers and school administrators as leaders, or potential leaders, among their peers — both academically and socially.
During the 2014-2015 school year, the SPARK program was expanded to include girls from O.L. Slaton Middle School and Mackenzie Middle School. Due to COVID-19 and school campuses being closed, the program was redesigned and implemented in the 2021-2022 school year. Today, the program currently serves Cavazos Middle School, Dunbar Middle School, and O.L. Slaton Middle Schools and has expanded from two programs each semester to bi-monthly lunches, from October through May, focusing on teamwork, self-confidence, education and the impact of voluntarism in the community.
Looking Toward the Future
The SPARK program serves as an enriching experience for our membership while also impacting the lives of young women in the Lubbock community. We are excited about the success we have had with this program and look forward to continuing this success for many years to come in more schools.