Celebrating the 4th Annual Spark! Challenge
“The Spark! Challenge is a wonderful way to excite students about the vast scope of clinical and non-clinical careers in health care.”
–Cheryl Davidson, Sr. Director of Workforce Readiness
It only takes a spark to light imaginations. For the past four years, that’s exactly what Northwell Health’s Spark! Challenge has done. This unique program teams local high school students with Northwell Health employees in order to:
- Grow student interest in STEM health care related careers.
- Build a pipeline of students to energize the future workforce.
- Creates career awareness through exploration and experiential learning.
- Provide an introduction to Northwell Health’s culture, values and mission.
- Give teachers/school counselors insight into the scope of health care careers.
This year, 600 junior and senior high school students from 32 local schools participated in the Spark! Challenge. They were supported by 50 Northwell Health teams, representing careers in areas such as:
- Bioelectronic medicine
- Emergency Services
- Operating Room
- Laboratory Science
- Industrial Engineering
- Human Resources
- Revenue Cycle
- And MUCH more….
You can view the complete list of participating departments and careers here.
Engaging future healthcare leaders.
Through the Spark! Challenge, students were given the opportunity to preview clinical and/or non-clinical career paths through practical and engaging encounters with professionals in the field. After their visit to a Northwell facility they had two assignments:
- Create an advertisement spotlighting one of the careers highlighted during their visit,, successfully connecting the job to one of Northwell Health’s values.
- Share the career they explored through a two-minute presentation at the Spark! Challenge award celebration (with their student team).
“It was a privilege to participate. I was energized by the experience!”
–Deborah Schiff SVP and Executive Director, Ambulatory Strategy and Business Development
The envelope please…
The Spark! Challenge Award Ceremonies were held on April 12, 2018 at The Cradle of Aviation Musuem. Northwell Health’s EVP and Chief Operating Officer Mark Solazzo and Joseph Moscola, SVP and Chief People Officer awarded the prizes. In true Northwell Health fashion, Mark doubled the originally planned prize money and ended up awarding a total of $26,000 to the winning school teams. Congratulations to the winners:
Presentation Winners – $2,000 awarded to each school team
- Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School
- Valley Stream Central High School
- Tottenville High School
- Sacred Heart Academy
Presentation Honorable Mentions – $1,000 awarded to each school team
- William Floyd High School
- Baldwin High School
- Tottenville High School
- John F. Kennedy High School, Bellmore-Merrick School District
- Amityville High School
- Smithtown High School
First Place Winner: Glen Cove High School, $5,000 award
Second Place Winner: Lindenhurst Senior High School, $3,000 award
Third Place Winner John F. Kennedy High School, Bellmore-Merrick School District $2,000 award
Northwell Health is grateful to all of the student participants as well as the Northwell Health employees who donated their time to make this year’s Spark! Challenge such a success. Next year promises to be even better!
“Kudos, to the Spark! Challenge winners and every participant. You each brought your whole self to the Challenge – not only your knowledge and expertise but also your enthusiasm and appreciation for our values. Stay true to who you are, keep your convictions, be courageous and you will become an authentic leader!”
— Tom Thornton – SVP, Northwell Ventures