Get ready Twin Cities! Youth from around the country are gearing up for our 7th annual summer internship and this year’s group of youth are going to fuel our most ambitious sustainable bootcamp to-date.

Here’s what you need to know:

Interns selected through our application process will spend six weeks contributing to our nonprofit organization through hands-on projects that create real-world economic outcomes for our community partners.  Youth chosen will experience working in tight teams, learning about sustainability and entrepreneurship through dedicated projects. Youth and teams are chosen based on experience, desired area of focus, and education background.  To create an atmosphere of teamwork and diverse contribution, interns of different ages and aptitudes work in groups to build and support one-another throughout the summer.


This year’s internship runs from July 5 - August 11.

Interns base out of our Minneapolis office and Urban Agriculture Lab: 4432 Chicago Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55407.

The internship is 3 days a week (Tue-Thur; 10am-5pm) roughly 20hrs / week.  Interns range from 14-24 years in age, high school, college students and graduates welcome to apply.

Deadline for application is Friday, April 21.

Further details are listed at the bottom of the Annual Internship page here.

“Spark-Y has given us the confidence to know that we can do this.  For instance, I had never worked with power tools before, I knew nothing about timber framing, and I didn’t really ever go to big meetings or anything like that.  Now I’m doing all of it. And now I feel, if I wanted to do almost this exact same thing - I feel like I have confidence that I could work with it and do it again.” 
- Makenna, 2016 Spark-Y intern
Beltrami Pavilion Team Leader

Why Spark-Y:

Youth everywhere are taking notice of social and environmental injustices throughout the country. And more than ever, these young people want to make a positive difference while growing their access to healthy food, information, sustainable practices, and organizations that support the causes they believe in.

At Spark-Y, we created a summer internship to give voice to youth. Here, young people have the support of an entire nonprofit organization that knows the value of youth-grown ideas. Our 6-week internship pairs like-minded individuals together, catalyzing fresh ideas, inspired action, and remarkable outcomes.

Let’s highlight a few from previous years’ internship teams:

Learn. Grow. Gain job experience.

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), via Pathways to Prosperity, the top 5 attributes employers seek are:

  1. Leadership
  2. Teamwork
  3. Written Communications
  4. Problem Solving
  5. Verbal Communications

These attributes align with Spark-Y’s 5 Keys of Professional Development, principals we not only mentor our youth with but also practice as interns, staff, and leaders.

Trademark Spark-Y: Youth Action Labs, "5 Keys of Professional Development."

We credit the success of our internship to youth using not just learning about professional development, but practicing it in the field and in their teams. By the end of the 6-week internship, youth have actionable outcomes that can be added to their resume and shared with future employers.  

Past interns at Spark-Y have gone on to lead teams during the next internship, gain employment, and gain admittance to schools and specialized programs.  Many of our interns have gone on to use their experiences for entrepreneurial pursuits, creating their own sustainable business models.

Get involved

If you are interested in applying for our internship, please review the details on our Annual Internship page.

Community members or individuals looking to engage our interns in partnerships can contact us at

We look forward to a summer of big ideas, youth-driven action, and results that build closer communities, healthier environments, and lasting change.