Project SPARC

The CalWORKs Association has received a generous grant from the Blue Shield of California Foundation for a two-year project that will put CalWORKs students at the center of reimagining both the community college and welfare systems.

One CaWORKs student from each community college in the state will be appointed to work in Project SPARC. Students and project staff with use a three-phase Human-Centered Design approach:

1. Inspiration – Students will frame their design challenge, create teams, and conduct participant-led research. 

2. Ideation – Without being bound by what has been done before, students will create solutions to the problems leading to achievement gaps for parenting students, resulting in five policy recommendations.

3. Implementation – Students will bring their solutions to life, prototyping and testing their ideas, and meeting with policy and systems leaders to advocate for change. 

CalWORKs students’ time is valuable and they have many competing priorities. If we want CalWORKs students to participate in systems change, we need to value their commitment. 

With this in mind, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has partnered with the CalWORKs Association and allows colleges to pay participating CalWORKs students as student workers.

Join our SPARC Team

Project SPARC is made possible through a generous grant from Blue Shield of California Foundation.

Blue Shield of California Foundation supports lasting and equitable solutions to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence. When we work together to remove the barriers to health and well-being, especially for Californians most affected, we can create a more just and equitable future. For more information, visit: