The JA SPARK Program is a free two-year program for middle school girls from across Southern Massachusetts focused on leadership development and entrepreneurial thinking. SPARK offers a unique blend of financial literacy, career readiness, entrepreneurship, and leadership development.
Following an extensive recruitment and interviewing process, twenty-four girls are chosen to participate in the program. Many have already begun their entrepreneurial endeavors and are eager to expand in their pursuits of someday owning their own business; others are just scratching the surface and diving into a world of possibilities.
The program begins with a week-long residential summer experience at Massachusetts Maritime Academy where the girls learn the foundational skills of how to be an entrepreneur, work in teams to create their own social enterprise business plans, and practice skills such as networking, business plan development, marketing and branding, and strategic planning. Participants meet periodically throughout the following academic year and then return for a week-long residential summer experience at Bridgewater State University where they put their plans into action and launch their businesses.