Today, we are sharing updates on Spark 2020 and our commitment to closing the network gap during this challenging time of COVID-19:

  1. Accommodation: Our app deadline has been extended to April 22. (Apply here)
  2. Safety: Our students’ safety is our top priority here at CTG. Our program in June, July, and August will go virtual via Zoom, Slack, and Google Hangout. Per CDC's guidance in the fall, we will determine the feasibility of hosting our final event at Google in late September.
  3. Acceptance: Due to the nature of COVID-19, our acceptance committee has been instructed to review applications with an abundance amount of care and accommodation. Our outreach team will proactively reach out to borderline applications to request supplemental responses before making final decisions.
  4. Flexibility: We understand that moving our program virtually may pose invisible challenges like equal access to reliable, essential internet services for our low-income students. To that end, all admitted scholars will be given the choice of attending this year’s program (2020) or defer their acceptance for next summer (2021) without re-applying next year.

Spark 2020

Along with the changes to our program’s operations, I am also excited to share how this year’s program will accommodate and adapt to virtual learning:

  • Growth Project: Scholars will set and self-direct a project to pursue a personal or professional goal with the support of Spark and their mentor. Scholars will present their findings to a panel of Silicon Valley Execs who will award the most audacious project with the $1,000 Spark Scholarship. (via Google Hangout & Slack)

    Last year’s scholar, Alex, used his Spark Project as the backbone to his college application, leading to his recent admittance to Stanford University (his story re-shared by LinkedIn Social Impact!).
  • Structured Mentorship: Scholars will be paired with professionals from tech companies like Google and Facebook who will act as role models and help them explore a career in STEM. After shelter-in-place guidance is lifted, scholars may be invited to visit tech campuses for a shadow day. (via Google Hangout & Slack)
  • Workshops: Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch (Speakeasy’s Executive), STEM Panel (Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn), Resume & Cover Letter 101 (Google’s Recruiter), and Personal Brand & College Prep (Spark 2019 Scholar & Incoming Stanford Freshman). (via Zoom)

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Stay safe,