18 Jun McGrory Mentors Philadelphia Youth
McGrory joins Gensler, KieranTimberlake and other local organizations in partnership with Spark in Philadelphia.
Spark, a national nonprofit that engages companies and communities to provide career exploration and self-discovery opportunities for middle school students, has partnered with more than 600 Philadelphia students since launching in 2013 as the organization’s first East Coast site. McGrory Glass was proud to join the program, which specializes in making real-world career exploration possible for students.
Spark believes that every student should have access to the resources and experiences they need to achieve their dreams.
Through group workshops and one-to-one project-based mentoring hosted at Spark Corporate Partners, students build critical skills and explore possibilities for their futures. By partnering with experienced working professionals, Spark students are able to set and achieve measurable goals with their mentors – the first step in transforming dreams into reality.
“Kyra’s vision resonated with and was real to me,” said senior McGrory Glass Architectural Consultant Larry Walker of his experience as a Spark mentor. “During our sessions, I was able to use my life experience to help Kyra form a roadmap to the goal of designing and managing her own salon.”
Brianna Nastasi, also a senior member of McGrory’s Architectural Consultant team, joined Larry in working with Kyra. As the months passed, her dream took on tangible shape with floorplan blueprints, material swatches, and glass signage.
“Spark was a very fulfilling experience for me,” said Brianna. “It was a privilege to be a part of such a great experience. I loved being able to help Kyra see the possibilities for her future. I learned so much about the power of mentoring.”
At the end-of-semester showcase, Kyra spoke knowledgeably about her salon, filled with energy and plans for the future. Larry and Brianna shared her enthusiasm with the other students and sponsors gathered to celebrate the outcome of a mutually transformative experience.
Kyra poses in front of her Color Me Beautiful Salon with Spark mentors Brianna Nastasi & Larry Walker, both Regional Architectural Consultants at McGrory Glass.
“Watching Kyra share and help less organized students every session let me know she will be successful in the future,” said Larry. “That’s the beauty of the Spark program – we’re all mentors to one another.”
Nikki Johnson-Huston, Esq. an award-winning attorney and advocate, closed the event with a stirring keynote speech.
Ms. Johnson-Huston is a frequent speaker on how she navigated the challenges of homelessness and poverty to become a successful attorney. Her speech emphasized the importance of education and personal outreach in creating opportunities.
“I wouldn’t be here without the sparks, without the mentors in my life.” Ms. Johnson-Huston said. “For you people, who are volunteers and who are mentors: what you do is incredibly important.
To learn more about or join the Spark program, please reach out to Jordan Broutman, Spark‘s Manager of Corporate Partnerships, at email@example.com or visit www.sparkprogram.org.