A SPARK for Chicago



141% Raised of$10,000 Goal

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A SPARK for Chicago Photo
A SPARK for Chicago Photo
A SPARK for Chicago Photo

The Story

EVENT DATE: Sep 12, 2015

DEADLINE TO GIVE: Mar 08, 2016

"From a little spark may burst a flame."  - Dante Alighieri



Chicago Primal Gym and Henock Beyen are leading the charge to raise crucial funds and awareness for Spark Chicago. Spark's core mission is to provide life-changing apprenticeships to youth in underserved communities across the United States.  With your help, our goal is to raise $10,000 for Spark to re-engage underserved 7th and 8th graders in some of the worst neighborhoods of Chicago. 


The Events


Day Event

Location: Chicago Primal Gym
Address: 3412 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
Time: 11am - 1pm
Overview: Team based competition [More info to come]


Evening Event

Location: The Buckingham Athletic Club
Address: 440 S LaSalle St. Chicago, IL 60605
Time: 9pm - 1am
Overview: Celebrating the close of the fundraiser over good music and cocktails

How Can You Help?
We need your help making the biggest impact possible.  Specifically, here's what we still need to make this event special:

  • Donate and share the CrowdRise link.  Every little bit counts! Together, if we share through our individual networks, we should crush our goal of raising $10,000 for Spark Chicago!
  • Become a Team Captain. The fitness competition at CPG will be done in teams of four.  Entry fee into the competition is $1,000 per team. We need a handful of leaders to step up and lead the fundraising charge for their team.
  • Donate Raffle Prizes. We need awesome prizes for our evening raffle. Please reach out to sean@chicagoprimal.com or hbeyen@yahoo.com if you can help us out.
  • Block your calendar. This event is about raising money, but it's also about community, awareness, and having a great time. Come join us for the afternoon and evening events!
  • Volunteer to Mentor for Spark. Deadline for the fall session is August 28th. Your employer may already be connected with Spark. If not, consider reaching out to your HR department and partnering up with this awesome organization.


The Story (from Henock Beyen)
We’ve all had great mentors or exceptional individuals who have altered our lives for the better. Whether it was our parents, an older sibling, a teacher/professor, or colleague, we’ve had the opportunity to learn from those whom we have come to respect dearly and who have embodied traits we hope to instill in ourselves.


It wasn’t long after my move to Chicago that I began to gain insights around Chicago’s underserved and underfunded youth. [Side note-hats off to teachers and educators]. From discussions with educators to the recommendation of powerful books (‘There Are No Children Here’ - by Alex Kotlowitz), I wanted to find a way to give back, to give back to this to this City I had come to love and to do so by investing in it’s youth (future).


Many of us, and those who we revere in our networks have had great joy and success in raising funds and awareness for causes we’re passionate about. Thus, I was confident that by leveraging my extended community and the networks of my friends and acquaintances, the collective could get a lot of good done. The result of that thought process is this campaign which has the overall goal of raising both awareness and funds for an exceptional cause that has produced phenomenal results for our city. So, let me first start by sharing a summary of the cause and upcoming events. [More updates to come]



Spark is a national nonprofit that re-engages underserved seventh and eighth grade students, keeping them on track and ready for success in high school and beyond through workplace-based apprenticeships that uniquely combine mentoring, project-based learning, skill building and career exploration.”


It’s core mission is to provide life-changing apprenticeships to youth in underserved communities across the United States. 


Why Spark? (from Henock Beyen)
I was actually introduced to Spark through a mentor of my own. We never discussed our roles as mentor and mentee, however, I certainly viewed her as a superior example and benchmark to the type of professional I strove to be -- highly respected, trusted and genuinely caring both in and out of the work setting. She motivated and led by example, was driven and successful, yet humble, and had an enthusiastic willingness to share her guidance and knowledge. It didn’t take years of interactions to leave a lasting mark -- a spark that has had a profound result on my professional growth and was the foundation for my desire to mentor.


I’ve mentored through Spark since 2012 and can’t express more how profound of an organization it is. The stats are there (see below); Spark is changing the trajectory of students for the better and leading Chicago to a brighter future. I’ve always wanted to find a way to do more and give back to Chicago, thus, in collaboration with a network of charitable Chicagoans, will be hosting two events (afternoon and evening) on September 12th to bring awareness to Spark, increase the number of prospective mentors and raise funds for a result driven Chicago centric organization. Our goal is to raise $10,000. The fine folks at Spark have been integral in the planning thus far, are thrilled for what’s to come and excited to help in any way they can. I’ve provided contact information at the bottom of this page should you care to reach out.

  • Why should people donate to this cause?
    • If you’re are reading this page, I’m confident that you have a network of positive, fun-loving, and good hearted individuals. Thus, as a collective, there's a lot of good that can be done for this city that we all love and I’m hopeful that we can leverage our networks to do. Investing in this city’s youth is smart and is producing results.
  • Why the need?:
    • In the cities Spark serves, roughly 35% of students do not earn high school diplomas.
    • Nearly 70% of those dropouts did not complete ninth grade or repeated freshman year and dropped out later. The path to dropping out begins before high school, with as much as 60% of students becoming chronically disengaged.
  • Spark’s Impact:
    • Spark’s tailored apprenticeship program works.
      • 71% of Spark students improve their performance in school, 9 in 10 enter high school prepared and 92% have graduated or are on track to graduate.

If you would like to participate in the event or volunteer to help out in any way, please contact at hbeyen@yahoo.com or Sean Griffin sean@chicagoprimal.com.

Thank you for your support and generosity! 


With love,

Henock & The CPG Team


Contact information:

Henock Beyen


(312) 405-1251


Sean Griffin


(312) 480-8081


“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

― Mother Teresa

Click HERE to learn about mentoring through SPARK


Additional information:

  • 92% have graduated or remain on-track to graduate high school on time
  • 89% are on track to graduate on time as they enter high school, compared to just 70%
  • 71% improved their performance in school related to grade, attendance and behavior
  • 85% score highly on critical mindset measures including the belief that school is


Where does the money go?

  • $30 Provides apprenticeship events for one student/mentor match.
  • $1,500 Supports one Spark apprenticeship.
  • $300 Provides mentor training and support.
  • $150 Enables Spark to measure program impact through students, family, mentor, school and district, data collection, and evaluation.
  • $100 Ensures student safety.
  • $3,000 Supports one student in the Spark program for one year.
  • $400 Supports case management for one student.
  • $150 Helps Spark guide and support each partner school's "Spark Educator".
  • $100 Supports Spark’s Leadership Curriculum for one student.
  • $20 Covers the cost of apprenticeship supplies.


Contact at Spark Program:

Meha Davé

Director of Program Innovation

Spark, National Program Team

223 W. Jackson | Suite 520

Chicago, IL 60606

Office: 312.470.4300 ext. 4505


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Grant's Primal Spark Team

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Primal Spark Chicago

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Donate & Dominate

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Operation: Primal Spark

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Chicago Primal Ladies

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Spark the Movement

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