As part of its ongoing mission to assist and improve the community where it does business, Lube-Tech will be providing program support and up to $75,000 in grant money to Spark-Y, a 501c3 nonprofit that provides sustainable education for youth through Twin Cities schools and partner organizations.
The partnership is set for three years and follows the Social Venture Partners Minnesota Philanthropic Partners model. In addition to monetary support, Lube-Tech will donate the time and talents of employees to help Spark-Y fulfill its mission to empower youth through hands-on education rooted in sustainability and entrepreneurship.
“We are so honored, and so excited for everything in store,” said Zach Robinson, executive director of Spark-Y. “Thank you to Lube-Tech and Social Venture Partners for believing in Spark-Y!”
Spark-Y is run for youth and by youth, with instructors and organizers who are young professionals, recent graduates, college students and high school students. Spark-Y currently works with more than 10 Twin Cities schools where more than 60 percent of the students are entered in reduced lunch programs.
Spark-Y focuses on teaching students about urban agriculture systems including aquaponics, vermicomposting, algae cultivation and mushroom cultivation. The organization takes a new approach to learning and is successfully capturing the interest and attention of at-risk teens at the schools. Utilizing a rich curriculum that includes diverse subject matter, students learn to work in teams constructing and building the systems. As a result, students experience real-world application of sustainability, entrepreneurship, construction, science and math and are exposed to modern, fresh ideas and concepts.