Spark at Booth-Kelly

Spark at Booth-Kelly

We’re bringing Spark to Springfield!

Help us build our next Spark location in the Historic Booth-Kelly Center. Donations will ensure more youth can access a safe space to learn and grow through hands-on experiences.

COMING SUMMER 2023!

Spark at Booth-Kelly will open at the Booth-Kelly Center in Springfield, Oregon in 2023 as our second youth innovation hub for Lane County youth. This location will help us better serve youth throughout Springfield and surrounding rural communities.

Standing at 11,000 square feet, Spark at Booth-Kelly will expand our Spark programming. Housing an industrial-size CNC machine, a dedicated indoor/outdoor welding area, and a manufacturing technology pathway, all supported by industry partners. Our after-school work program, the Agency, will continue to grow at Spark at Booth-Kelly.

 

Spark at Booth-Kelly will also house a Youth Workforce Center. Our Elevate program will provide services and workshops centered around ready-to-work needs.

Spark at Booth-Kelly Rendering

SUPPORTING PARTNERS

COMING SUMMER 2023!

Spark at Booth-Kelly will open at the Booth-Kelly Center in Springfield, Oregon in Summer 2023 as another central youth innovation hub for Lane County youth. Spark at Booth-Kelly will help us better serve youth throughout Springfield and the rural communities east of Springfield. We've secured a location and will begin tenant improvements in the fall of 2022. We’re nearing our fundraising goal to complete construction and fill the space with equipment.

Spark at Booth-Kelly Rendering

Standing at 11,000 square feet, Spark at Booth-Kelly will expand our Spark programming. Housing an industrial-size CNC machine, a dedicated indoor/outdoor welding area, and a manufacturing technology pathway, supported by industry partners. Our after-school work program, the Agency, will continue to grow at Spark at Booth-Kelly.

Spark at Booth-Kelly will also house a Youth Workforce Center. Our Elevate program will provide services and workshops centered around ready-to-work needs.

Spark at Booth-Kelly Rendering

Standing at 11,000 square feet, Spark at Booth-Kelly will expand our Spark programming. Housing an industrial-size CNC machine, a dedicated indoor/outdoor welding area, and a manufacturing technology pathway, supported by industry partners. Our after-school work program, the Agency, will continue to grow at Spark at Booth-Kelly.

Spark at Booth-Kelly will also house a Youth Workforce Center. Our Elevate program will provide services and workshops centered around ready-to-work needs.

Become a Spark Supporter!

Please donate an amount you're comfortable with or start a fundraiser to help us reach our goal!

I like STEM a lot, it’s cool! This year I was able to come back as a mentor and help get a new generation into STEM, people who might not think about STEM much. Helping them see what STEM is about and how cool it can be, it was awesome.
Jerin, Invention Lab Mentor 2022 and Invention Lab Participant 2021

Become a Sponsor!

Spark at Booth-Kelly will bring tremendous economic opportunity and growth to youth, businesses, and the community. Join us in this effort! See sponsorship opportunities and sponsor recognition options below. To become a sponsor, please contact Heidi Larwick at heidi@connectedlane.org.

Equipment & Technology Opportunities

  • General Equipment $5,000
  • ShopBot CNC Router $25,000
  • Nomad 3 Desktop CNC (3) $8,400
  • Lincon MIG Welder (4) $15,200
  • Prusa i3 MK3S Kit 3D Printers (4) $3,200
  • Universal Laser 60 watt CO2 $20,000

Facility & Youth Opportunities

  • Youth Employment $5,000
  • Snack Wall (Annual) $6,000
  • Youth Technology $30,000
  • Construction $20,000
  • Furniture $10,000+
  • And so much more!

Sponsorship Recognition

  • Logo placement on our website
  • Recognition in our advertising
  • Social media recognition
  • Newsletter features
  • Logo in Spark at Booth-Kelly

Invention Lab at Spark on 7th helped me get more interested in STEM. They provide resources and tools to get more involved, like cool machines and programs. They also provide ways to get help and support us a lot in our learning!
Jayla, Invention Lab Participant 2022

Get in Touch

Media Inquiries

Please contact Becky-Jo Samples at beckyjo@connectedlane.org.

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Spark on 7th

Spark on 7th

Spark on 7th is a Youth Innovation Space

Spark on 7th provides youth with a safe place to learn, innovate, collaborate, and create through paid, out-of-school training opportunities. Located at 22 W 7th Ave. in Eugene, Oregon, Spark on 7th opened in June 2021.

Programs and Services

Invention Lab Youth at the Student Showcase

In June 2021, Spark on 7th opened with its first official program, Invention Lab: a five-week, paid experience for high school students to learn skills in the invention process, build technical skills, and gain experience in human-centered design. The goal of Invention Lab is to empower generations of creators, inventors, and leaders in addressing complex issues. For this summer program, students were tasked with creating devices to monitor air quality and CO2 levels in indoor spaces.

Youth presented their inventions to the public on the last day of the program. Not only did they work together to create a working invention and prepare professional presentations, but they also created many friendships and learned to stretch their skills. One day a week was dedicated to enrichment activities including connecting the youth to the outdoors and learning about Afrofuturism.

Invention Club focuses on empowering students to become inventors and to create solutions for the community. Two cohorts of participants attend weekly meetings hosted by advisors and mentors to apply skills like human-centered design and rapid prototyping to their own invention projects. Participants form teams and at the end of the year, each team can enter the Oregon MESA Day competition hosted at Portland State University. Invention Club, including the costs of the trip to Portland, is completely free to students and families.

 

This year we had two Invention Club cohorts attend the MESA Day Showcase at Portland State University on May 20, 2022. The cohort from Willamette High School took second place in the high school division and the team from Hamlin Middle School took first place!

 

Please contact Justin Thibedeau (justin@connectedlane.org) with any questions about Invention Club.

the Agency youth working on a project together

The Agency is a blend of education and work experience in a paid position. This opportunity was extended to previous Invention Lab participants and summer interns who were recognized as taking on intellectual challenges with focus, assertiveness, and a strong sense of responsibility. The first cohort of the Agency consists of 10 interns who meet weekly at Spark on 7th for the full school year. The Agency experience kicks off with interns learning the ins and outs of the tools, machinery, and possibilities within Spark on 7th. From there, the Agency interns apply their new and existing skills toward completing projects submitted by local businesses and nonprofits.

 

This year, the first cohort of the Agency has completed projects for Threadbare Print House, Eugene Symphony, Food for Lane County, the City of Eugene, and EWEB, among others. Check out some of their work in the Student Projects section below.

 

Have an idea for a project for the 22'-23' cohort? Please contact Justin Thibedeau at justin@connectedlane.org.

With the creation of Spark on 7th, we added fee-for-service offerings to generate income for reinvestment into our programming and to engage the community at large. Our fee-for-service offerings at Spark on 7th include birthday party rentals and private events.

 

Birthday Party Rentals: Birthday parties are limited to 10 children. Party-goers will have a two-hour window to experience Spark on 7th, enjoy a hands-on activity, and celebrate. Birthday party rentals start at $300.

 

Private Events & Corporate Team-Building Workshops: Group events are limited to 50 people max. Pricing starts at $500.

Birthday party at SparkLab
Rent Spark on 7th

In addition to rentals and private events, we also offer full-day and two-day workshops scheduled on no-school days for Eugene 4J School District, Springfield School District, & Bethel School District. Income generated from these fee-based workshops will be re-invested into our programming to help us serve those who need us most.

Be sure to check the Spark on 7th calendar below, follow us on social media, or join our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest events.

Workshops at Spark on 7th

Workshops are fun and educational activities for youth scheduled on no-school days. Follow us on social media or join our newsletter to stay up to date.

Check our calendar

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Student Projects

Orchid Pots

Agency youth worked with a local client in need of custom-designed orchid pots. The youth went through the engineering design process by interviewing the client to establish needs for the project, then used 3D modeling to design and iterate more functional pots.

Orchid pots designed by the Agency
Youth and mentor hanging coats

Winter Coats

Celeste Peterson from Palo Alto Software volunteered six evenings teaching the Agency youth to fix and replace broken zippers. The youth were able to turn 21 rejected coats donated by the Columbia Factory Store into good-as-new clothing. These winter coats will be donated to unhoused youth.

Custom Picnic Tables

Craig—a high school senior—submitted an Elevate mentorship application seeking a mentor to help him further his woodworking knowledge and experience before graduation. We paired Craig with Mark Bruer of Essex General Construction, Inc. Mark supported Craig by designing and building three picnic tables for Spark on 7th. These picnic tables have already been a valuable addition to Spark on 7th! Nice work Craig and Mark!

Interested in learning more about our mentorship program? Sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Picnic Tables at Spark on 7th
Mural at Spark on 7th

Mural for Spark on 7th Lobby

We commissioned Brynn, a former Elevate mentorship participant, to create a mural for the lobby area of Spark on 7th. Using our logo and colors, she created this amazing work of art! We love how it turned out and think it perfectly captures the essence of the space.

Industry-informed

Our industry partners help to prepare students for life after high school by outfitting Spark on 7th with industry-standard tools and equipment, providing mentors, hosting summer interns, and much more!

Our Partners

Get in Touch

Sponsorship & Partnership Inquiries

Interested in sponsoring our Spark program?

Please contact Heidi Larwick at heidi@connectedlane.org for information.

Media Inquiries

Please contact Becky-Jo Samples at beckyjo@connectedlane.org.

Donations

Interested in supporting our Spark program? Donate Today!

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Our Programs

Looking to sponsor a program or event? Get in touch with us here.

Our Programs

Connected Lane County is a mission-driven organization striving to improve outcomes for underserved youth in Lane County. Our core programs include Elevate, which creates career-connected learning opportunities for youth; Navigate, which offers a variety of case management services to youth facing significant barriers to success; and Spark, which brings community, education, & industry together through innovation, education, and hands-on learning.

Elevate is Connected Lane County’s longest-standing program. Elevate provides career-connected learning opportunities for youth and professional development opportunities for educators. Youth experiences range from career exploration events to work-based learning opportunities such as internships, and career readiness and financial literacy training. Educator experiences include professional development workshops, educational panels, and externships with local industry.

Learn More

Navigate is a re-engagement program that offers a variety of case management services to youth facing significant barriers to success. Often these youth are unhoused or otherwise underserved and they need support navigating complex systems. Our Youth Support Specialists provide the crucial support to help youth obtain educational success, employment, housing stability, financial literacy, and more. 

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Spark is a program bringing community, education, & industry together through innovation, education, and hands-on career-connected learning. Spark locations, such as Spark on 7th, provide youth with a safe place to learn, innovate, collaborate, and create through paid, out-of-school training opportunities. Spark helps youth grow their skills, become confident problem-solvers, and gain hands-on experiences. Spark on 7th opened at 22 W 7th Ave. in Eugene, Oregon in June 2021 as a central youth innovation hub for Lane County youth.

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Lane STEM is an initiative focused on STEM experiences for students, educator development, and community awareness. Lane STEM is one of the thirteen Oregon STEM Hubs, working with all 16 school districts in Lane County. We convene the STEM Leadership and Operations teams, facilitate professional development for teachers, and implement programming for students.

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Summer can be a fun break for students, but we also want to do our part to support youth during the summer months so learning doesn’t have to stop. We organize BookFest, an annual free book drive for students, and take-home STEM, math, reading, and art kits for hands-on learning at home.

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Our Board

Our Board

Our board of directors includes local school districts, institutions of higher education, the local workforce board, and industry representatives.

Board Members

Andy Dey, Superintendent, Eugene School District 4J
Ashley Espinoza, Executive Director, Lane Workforce Partnership
Carlos Sequeira, Assistant Superintendent, Lane Education Service District
Dianna Carrizales-Engelmann, Assistant Dean for Administration, Director for Equity and Inclusion, University of Oregon College of Education
Grant Matthews, Interim VP of Career Technical & Workforce Development, Lane Community College
Jared Prunch, Director of Education, United Way of Lane County
Jenna Cusimano, Analyst, Lane County
Johnie Matthews, Superintendent, Lowell School District
Judy Newman, Co-Director, Early Childhood Cares
Kraig Sproles, Superintendent, Bethel School District
Laura Lee McIntyre, Interim Dean, University of Oregon College of Education
Matt Sayre, Managing Director, Onward Eugene
Patrick Phillips, Interim President, University of Oregon
Sally Bell, Vice President, Technology Association of Oregon
Tia Holliday, Curriculum Administrator, Eugene School District 4J
Todd Hamilton, Superintendent, Springfield Public Schools
Tony Scurto, Superintendent, Lane Education Service District

 


Our Team

Our Team

 
Heidi Larwick

Heidi Larwick

Executive Director

 
Becky-Jo Samples

Becky-Jo Samples

Marketing Director

 

Lizzie Brown

ProGRAM MANAGER

 
Michelle Martin

Michelle Martin

office coordinator

 
Justin Thibedeau

Justin Thibedeau

ProGRAM LEAD

 

Annie Dropek

Project coordinator

 

Dan Lombardi

PROJECT COORDINATOR

 
Shimea Jordan

Shimea Jordan

project coordinator

 
Olivia Goodheart

Olivia Goodheart

RESOURCE NAVIGATOR

 
Sean Wilkinson

Sean Wilkinson

RESOURCE NAVIGATOR

 
Meg Watson

Meg Watson

RESOURCE NAVIGATOR

 
Hailey Johnston

Hailey Johnston

RESOURCE NAVIGATOR

 
Cheyenne Vance

Cheyenne Vance

Peer Support Specialist

 
Elsa Douglass

Elsa Douglass

Projects Assistant

 

Monica Reynoso

ProjectS ASSISTANT

 

Iliana Lang Lundgren

Marketing & DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR

 

Alex Davis

Projects assistant

 

Jade Luther

graphic designer/marketing assistant

Join Our Team

We are looking for passionate and motivated individuals to join our team. Our team values creative thinking, problem-solving, relationship building, and adaptability. Would you like to join us?


BookFest

BookFest

In partnership with the United Way of Lane County, BookFest promotes reading and prevents summer learning loss by providing K-2nd graders with self-selected reading material for the summer. Providing students with age-appropriate books helps to improve reading scores. You can provide kids with the books they need to succeed by hosting a book drive, donating funds, or donating books. In May, we will distribute books to students at local schools throughout Lane County. Students will take home their favorites to keep and build their home libraries.

Thanks for helping us turn the page on literacy rates and prevent summer learning loss for Lane County students!
BookFest is a proud partnership between Connected Lane County and United Way of Lane County.


Careers

Careers

About Our Team

Connected Lane County is a mission-driven organization striving to improve outcomes for underserved youth in Lane County. Our core programs include Elevate, which creates career-connected learning opportunities for youth; Navigate, which offers a variety of case management services to youth facing significant barriers to success; and Spark, which brings community, education, & industry together through innovation, education, and hands-on learning.

We have maintained steady growth and we’re looking for passionate and motivated individuals to join our team. Our team values creative thinking, problem-solving, relationship building, and adaptability. Would you like to join us?

Benefits & Perks

  • 401K

  • Parental Leave

  • Family-Friendly

  • Modern Workspace

  • Flexible Work Schedules

  • Medical, Dental & Vision (100% covered)

  • Vacation Time (Starting at 10 days)

  • Personal & Sick Time (Starting at 15 days)

  • Paid Holidays & Office Closures

  • Paid Sabbatical (At 5 & 10 Years of Service)

Open Positions

To apply for an open position, please submit a resume with references included, a cover letter, and one letter of recommendation to info@connectedlane.org.

Don’t see your dream job below? Follow us on social media or join our newsletter to get regular updates. 

The Projects Assistant contributes to and supports the planning and execution of projects and programs. Primary duties include supporting event coordination, communicating and coordinating with industry partners, school districts, and internal staff, and performing data entry of program information.

We are looking for someone enthusiastic about our mission, eager to learn and grow, and that brings a strong growth mindset. The ideal candidate is willing and able to perform any tasks assigned by the project coordinator in an efficient and timely manner and can resolve unexpected issues and challenges promptly.

This posting has closed and we are evaluating candidates. Thank you for your interest.

The Youth Support Specialist assists underserved youth in accessing and navigating crucial support services for education, career development, financial stability, mental health services, and more. This position works under the direction of the Connected Lane County Project Coordinator.

We are looking for someone enthusiastic about our mission, passionate about helping youth succeed, and that brings a strong growth mindset. The ideal candidate enjoys working directly with youth to help them overcome barriers, works well in a team setting, and brings a creative approach to solving problems. 

This posting has closed and we are evaluating candidates. Thank you for your interest.


Working at Connected Lane County

We are committed to creating a work environment and culture where our team members grow and thrive. Our nimble team works hard every day to directly impact the lives of youth in Lane County. While much of our work is conducted from computer displays that require repetitive motions, employees may frequently be required to support program events and activities that include bending, reaching, standing, interacting with youth and volunteers, lifting/moving heavy objects, drive to-and-from events, and more.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Connected Lane County is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity. Data shows diverse teams are innovative, make better decisions, and are better able to engage employees. We are committed to hiring people who bring new perspectives and experiences to our team. Connected Lane County does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability. 


Spark Workshops

Workshops at Spark on 7th

Thank you for your interest in Spark workshops. Workshops are fun and educational activities for youth scheduled on no-school days. We currently do not have any open workshops on the schedule. Please be sure to follow us on social media or join our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest events.

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Donate

Make a difference

Support Connected Lane County Programs

Your donation will support Lane County youth as they prepare for their post-secondary lives and careers. Your support will help us create deeper and more rich opportunities. Donations will support programs and initiatives such as:

As a result, your donation will make a huge difference in the lives of local youth in addition to serving the community at large! Thank you!

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In the News

Mentions and Highlights

Read all the great things being said about our people, our work, and our programs!


— By Becky-Jo Samples for City of Eugene Downtown News

— Technology Association of Oregon’s Techlandia

— By Technology Association of Oregon

— By Sally Bell, Vice President and Executive Director, Technology Association of Oregon, Southern Willamette Valley

Connected Lane County inspires students, helps plant seed in finding future careers
— Register Guard


Media Inquiries

If you need information for newspaper, TV, radio, or other media reports, contact Becky-Jo Samples, Marketing Director, at beckyjo@connectedlane.org.