Sparks Begins 10th Year; Provides the Path

The new Sparks year begins with a grand November get-together
with all students and facilitators in Izmir.

The Sparks Program has kicked off its 10th year of leadership skills training for university women in Turkey, expanding now to four cities. With growing awareness and need for such programs, keep reading to find out how you can help more young women increase their confidence and take charge of their futures.

Some challenges university-bound women face every day…

– Family resistance to girls’ need for higher education
– Disdain for career choices believed to be “for men only”
– Lack of financial support for tuition and living expenses in another city
– Growing up in a small village with no previous access to basic things like internet technology
– Need to travel for the first time, alone, from a small village to a far-away city
– Self-doubt and severe homesickness
– Lack of activities in their schools or communities to provide them with the needed work and life skills
– Highly theoretical education with very little real-life experience
– Few role models and lack of access to networks for support and employment
– Lack of career guidance to help them make the right choices

As a result:
Some 40% of university-educated Turkish women drop out of the work force.
And the majority function at levels and earnings much below their true potential. (According to World Economic Forum’s 2017 Gender Gap Index, Turkey ranks 13 from the bottom of 144 countries.)
Why the Sparks Program is so important…

We provide an innovative eight-month long program that strengthens leadership abilities and young women’s potential to become active, responsible contributors in their professional fields and in society. With self-confidence and newly-acquired skills, participants can – and do – achieve great things and serve as role models for others.

Sparks students outperform their women in the general population…

Why the difference for Sparks women?

— They gain access to a new network of peers and adults
— Through self-discovery exercises, they increase self-confidence, self-efficacy (belief in their ability to accomplish goals)
— Through experience, they have opportunities to practice newly-develop leadership skills and abilities and commitment to community engagement

In this 1-minute video clip, a Sparks student tells what the program means for her. (It has English subtitles.)


More donors mean more opportunities
Can you help?

More sponsors, will mean more women can be served. Donations in any amount are greatly appreciated.

$50 enables a Spark to meet with a role model professional in her field

$100 provides materials for a social change project

$200 provides funds for one Sparks student to attend the annual Spring Summit Conference

$600 sponsors one Spark student in the 8-month Sparks Program

$5,000 sponsors a full Sparks program that serves 8 students for 8 months

Women are the future. Will you invest in them?

You can donate at