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. Teams are led by second-year internship graduates, to create a culture of youth development and leadership.



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.

2018 8th Annual Summer Internship


Are you passionate about creating positive and sustainable change in your community?
Are you looking to build your resume and gain exposure to sustainability and green opportunities in the Twin Cities?

Do you want to grow, learn, take risks, and meet like-minded young people?

The Spark-Y Summer Internship offers an action-packed seven week program that equips students and young professionals with experiences and tools necessary to succeed in today’s job market.

Internship details

Internship Location:
4432 Chicago Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
*and other project locations around the Twin Cities

June 26 – August 10

Hours - 20 hours a week (required):
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10am-5pm

Spark-Y Sustainability Certification (Professional Credential)
College credit (case by case basis)
Competitive stipends are available


Apply By:
Sunday April 8th

Application consists of a resume with a cover letter.
This cover letter should highlight something in your resume that prepares you to be a Spark-Y intern, and should outline why you are interested in this opportunity and what you would bring to your internship team.

Send your resume with the cover letter by email to:
Send your resume with the cover letter by email to:
Sarah Pilato
Education Facilitator and Internship Coordinator

This is the big question we will be asking each of our interns in 2018:
What is it that each of you want to change for the positive?
Protecting the environment?
Helping others in your neighborhood, your community, here, and abroad?

The choices we make today create great impact on our tomorrow.

You will work in small, dedicated teams to deliver on projects that improve sustainability in the Twin Cities. You will be mentored through an intensive training in professional development and the skills needed for success. Teams will be working on REAL community projects funded through contracts with local businesses and partner organizations. As such, delivering high quality results is essential to intern success.

At Spark-Y we provide a path for young people to make real change in what they believe in.  Our work here at Spark-Y yields actual economic and environmental results through the decisions and actions we make as individuals and as a group. Spark-Y is thrilled to welcome a passionate and inspired group of interns for the summer of 2018 so that we may all take action and create change together.

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

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.