Spark-Y Annual Internship

Real-world sustainable boot camp

Spark-Y hosts an annual internship every summer for youth around the country to gain real-world sustainable experiences through community partnerships. 30+ youth from Spark-Y school programs and applicants from job placement programs, college graduates, and graduate students combine into teams to execute sustainable projects throughout the Twin Cities. Youth in Spark-Y’s annual internship have built green houses, constructed a timber-frame microgreens tower, built and maintained gardens for schools and businesses, and more!


Participants in our annual internship:

Gain employment, entry to grad school, and admittance to special programs as a direct result of their experience.

Achieve a competitive edge and resume builder with a Spark-Y certificate.

Go on to create businesses or bring sustainable / entrepreneurial practices and thinking to their careers.

The latest from our 2019 Summer Internship:

A sneak peak of our Summer Internship:

Videos were created by MIGIZI, First Person Productions, chronicling our 9th Annual 2019 Summer Internship.

Check out our City Hall internship team’s project.

Youth from our 2019 internship sharing their experiences.


here's what Spark-Y intern alumni have to say:


"Spark-Y has given me the confidence to know that I can do this. I had never worked with power tools before, I knew nothing about timber framing, and I had never gone to meetings. Now I'm doing all of it. I have matured a ton being here."

- Makenna
Team Leader timber frame pavilion project


“At Spark-Y, everyone is so positive and sweet. And they help you. This is definitely going to help me in the future, planting and stuff, because I really love to plant but I just don’t know how. So Spark-Y really helped me to learn how it goes and how it works.”

- Halima
Roosevelt Urban Farming (RUF) project

Spark-Y Certification

Spark-Y interns are held to a high degree of excellence.
Certificates are awarded to interns who have proven the following:

As an individual, each intern:

  • Demonstrated understanding of the 5 E’s of Sustainability™

  • Assisted a major Spark-Y fundraising event

  • Received project management, entrepreneurial, and sustainable systems training

  • Developed the 5 keys of professional empowerment

  • Had 90% or greater attendance during the course of the internship program

Worked with a team to deliver professional-quality results, meaning, he/she/they:

  • Worked directly with a client as a sustainability contractor

  • Delivered project goals to client expectations

  • Managed a project timeline and budget

  • Completed a written final project report

  • Delivered an oral final project presentation


2019 Internship graduates:

Anteneh Zelalem, Cole Frazier, Dhairya Gupta, Emily Haus, Emma Shedd, Franci Haeg, George Bonete Quintero, Habon Samatar, Hani Abukar, Jahir Aquino, Jared Miller, Joyce Wong - Above and Beyond Award, Kawther Hassan, Keriann Cooper, Maria Montero - Above and Beyond Award, Mary Clare O'Shea, Nicholas Berg, Nicholas Campion - Above and Beyond Award, Nurfadila Khairunnisa, Olya Noyes- Spark-Y Spirit Award, Piper Lepine, Quinlan Genrich - Above and Beyond Award, Raiyyan Ahmed, Robbie Creadick, Sarah Anderson- Above and Beyond, Simon Graves - Spark-Y Spirit Award, Sydney Burrell, Tunger Hong -Above and Beyond Award, and Umulkheir Abdinoor.

2018 INternship graduates:

Tarryn Michelson - Collaborative Leader Award, Isabelle Paulsen - Collaborative Leader Award, Hamza Yusif, Isaac Groven, Hannah Wallace - Community Outreach Distinction, Sheila Sullivan, Aidan Cuoco, Amir Sheikhali, Miguel Garcia Rosales, Davon Washington, Michael Salzl, Natalie Dusek, Jahir Aquino Moran - Young Leader Award, Gabriel Cayetano, Andy Uvences Bonilla, Erin Boehme - Community Outreach Distinction, Shannon Van Dusartz - Collaborative Leader Award, Modou Dibba, Alejandra Diaz Torres, Salma Khalif, Peyton Thao, Nicholas Lockert - Above and Beyond Award, Megan Anderson, Abby Aasen, and Connor Solvang - Above and Beyond Award.

2017 Internship Graduates:

Daniella Torres-Skendi, Ella Spurbeck, Evan Schumacher, Freya Hatch-Surisook, Maverick Oblikson, Max Doty - Community Outreach Distinction, Kelly Kidwell, Sarah Ziskin - Community Outreach Distinction & Young Leader Award, Simon Kluzak, Zaki Abdi, Anna Jentz - Community Outreach Distinction, Charles Kinnegerg - Community Outreach Distinction, Christian Herrera, Claire Hueg, Daijiro Yokota, Elise Hanson - Community Outreach Distinction, Erin Purvis, Holly Check - Community Outreach Distinction, Judy Anne De Veyra - Above and Beyond Award, Kristen Chalmers - Collaborative Leader Award, Luke Carlson, Madeline Reed, Minette Saulog - Community Outreach Distinction, Nicholas Jacob, Ojiugo Ojebe, Sarah Westcott, Taylor Schroeder - Community Outreach Distinction, and Wil Larson.

2016 Internship graduates:

Rachel Mazac - Community Leader & Dedication Distinction, Zackery Allison - Community Leader & Dedication Distinction, Makenna Short - Community Leader & Dedication Distinction, Justine Oesterle, Melisa Rodriguez - Resilience & Commitment Distinction, Conor Arneson, Dylan Martin - Community Leader & Dedication Distinction, Jenny Fischer, Bekah Kropp -Dedication & Commitment Distinction, Brandon Arneson, Krista Martinka, Megan Gillen, Erin Gustafson - Above & Beyond Distinction, Kristen Chalmers - Above & Beyond Distinction,  Mána McBurnie, Georgia Powell, Theresa Hunt - Dedication & Leadership Distinction, Ryland Sorensen, Luke Carlson, Maya Toney, Tucker Nyhlen, Naveed Nezhad, Kelly Kidwell - Dedication & Leadership Distinction, Phong Mia, Julia Revier - Community Leader & Dedication Distinction, Stacie Graves, Morgan Lillie, Jacksin Rusnacko, Peter Biros, Jakari Walker - Dedication & Achievement Distinction, Adelaide Ravensborg - Above & Beyond Distinction, Kharli Johnson, and Zaki Abdi. 

2015 internship graduates:

Jack Wahlquist, Rachel M. Mazac, Caitlin Barnhart, Laura Hayes, Joe Lerro, Mose McLain, Will Scully, Minah Swason, Khoa Le, Andrew Bocher, Kajsa Beatty, Katie Lynn Goodin, Luke Fernandez, Maddie Bartholomew, Courtney Lehman, Kathleen Hobert, Arianna Benson, Drew Anderson, Rhiannon Dalrymple, Connor Williams, Phong Mai, Bryan Jones, Olivia Wilson, Elena Rosko, Jack Kellner, Kristin Skoog, Owen Geier, Sarah Jabar, Elizabeth Zalanga, Thomas Steinkamp, Mack Trotter, Rachel Lang, Abdifitah Farah, Maria Chiang, Sol Kaasan,Stacie Graves, Morgan Lillie, Nick Steckman, Jessica Sanders, Jess Bass, Sam Menzies, Alyssa Cocoran, Srah Kroening, Kasie Schultz, Megan Van Loh, Kirsten Roepke-Larsen, and Alia Oldenburg.