Stories and Highlights

What's Happening at Connected Lane County

Here you'll find the latest stories about our programs, youth, partners, and so much more! Follow along to stay up to date!

Photo of Jaiden.

May Young Adult Highlight: Meet Jaiden! 

May 17, 2024

Jaiden (she/her) has been an engaged Connected Lane County community member since joining the Navigate Program in July of 2022. Jaiden has faced challenges and barriers to employment and has demonstrated significant professional and personal growth throughout her time with us.  To learn more about her story, read her interview below!  What Connected Lane County…

Leo Youth Highlight 2024

Meet Leo, our April youth highlight!

April 22, 2024

Meet Leo, our April Youth Highlight!  Leo (they/them) has been a Connected Lane County participant since the summer of 2023 when they were a Summer Intern! Leo was placed at Volunteers in Medicine and learned more about what a career in health care would look like.  This internship gave them insight into the mental health…

Mars taking a selfie with Governor Tina Kotek and Julio.

Meet Mars, our March Youth Highlight!

March 26, 2024

Mars’ pronouns: Any Meet our STEM Superstar, Mars! While enrolled in the Migrant Education Oregon program at Hamlin Middle School, Mars learned about Connected Lane County’s BIPOC STEM program, Invention Club. Mars participated in 2021, and using limited materials, her team created a catapult to launch an item into a target. Mars’ group won first…

Elliott in front of Connected Lane County Signage.

Youth Highlight: Elliott

February 21, 2024

Elliott has been an engaged member of the Connected Lane County community since August 2023. Elliott appreciates the inclusive and welcoming environment at Spark locations, where they can unwind, access support, and engage in various activities. To learn more about Elliott’s story, read their interview below! How did you find Connected Lane County, and what…

Daniel and his group at codeORcreate.

Youth Highlight: Daniel

January 17, 2024

Meet Daniel, our monthly youth highlight! Daniel came to Connected Lane County through his school’s Career Center. He struggled to find employment and wanted to expand his skills. Our team placed Daniel in a paid summer internship with Bitforest based on his interests. Following his summer internship, he participated in codeORcreate, where his team won…

Minh and Thu at a Women in STEM event.

December Youth Highlight: Minh & Thu

December 12, 2023

Introduction to SparkMinh and Thu bring so much creative energy to Spark programming. The twin sisters joined the after-school Invention Club at Spark on 7th in the fall of 2021, learning various machines and workflows and expanding their STEM skills. STEM InvolvementAt MESA Day, the end-of-year statewide STEM competition held at Portland State University, Minh…

Carmen smiling at the camera with Spark on 7th's mural of a interconnected light bulb in the background.

Youth Highlight: Carmen

October 31, 2023

Navigate Support  Carmen entered the Navigate program at 17 years old, unemployed, and dropped out of school. The combination of a difficult home life and a severe car accident that totaled her only source of transportation left her struggling with mental health issues and unable to re-engage with education. With support from the program, she…

Noel presenting at marketingJAM.

Youth Highlight: Noel

October 5, 2023

Noel’s Journey to Connected Lane County  In his sophomore year at Siuslaw High School (2020), his enthusiastic computer science teacher, Mr. Mielke, approached Noel and recruited him to participate in our then-virtual youth hackathon called codeORcreate. The world was navigating the first year of COVID-19, and all extracurriculars had paused indefinitely. Noel, a computer science…

Youth Highlight: Parker

September 18, 2023

Parker’s Journey at Spark on 7th Meet Parker, a talented young entrepreneur! His journey from high school to the inception of his clothing line, Honyx LLC, is nothing short of inspiring. Parker’s introduction to the world of manufacturing technology came during his senior year at Willamette High School. It was then that he discovered the…

Navigate Wonder Week 2023

August 17, 2023

In July, the Navigate program’s second Wonder Week unfolded seamlessly, inspiring and empowering young adults. This immersive event at Spark on 7th focused on job readiness and career exploration. Each day, Navigate youth gathered for dedicated learning, growth, and new opportunities.

Invention Lab Cohort A participants at Spark on 7th

Invention Lab 2023

August 17, 2023

Our Invention Lab is more than a summer program – it’s a transformative experience that empowers high school youth to stretch the boundaries of technology and creativity.

Izel running a machine at Rosen Aviation

Elevate Summer Internships 2023

August 16, 2023

In the heart of Lane County, a wave of youthful energy and ambition swept through this summer, as 62 aspiring minds embarked on a transformative journey through the 2023 Elevate Summer Internships. Last week, we had the privilege of celebrating the remarkable achievements of these interns at our Summer Internship Celebration. This event served as a testament to the dedication and hard work of our 62 interns, all juniors and seniors, representing 15 school districts and 23 schools within Lane County.

Maia standing proud!

Youth Highlight: Maia

August 15, 2023

Maia’s Inspiring Journey with the Navigate Program At the heart of the Navigate program lies the belief that with the right support and guidance, every young individual can overcome adversity and reach their fullest potential. Maia’s story is a testament to this philosophy, showcasing the transformative power of the Navigate program in shaping young lives.…

Bella working her magic at BRING Recycling in her summer 2022 Internship.

Youth Highlight: Bella

July 17, 2023

Bella’s Journey From New Mexico to the Art Institute of Chicago We are thrilled to present the inspiring story of Bella, a talented young artist who joined our community after moving from New Mexico to Eugene during her freshman year of high school. Bella’s transition to a new city was initially challenging. Yet she soon…

In the News

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

Every month, you'll receive updates about events, opportunities for youth, and ways you can partner with us.