SPARK logo

SPARK a Change

Mission & Purpose

The mission of SPARK a Change is to impact and improve the lives of at-risk youth (ages 0-17) through literacy, education and real-world preparedness. Golden Key members are service minded individuals who strive to make a positive difference in their communities and around the world. This initiative helps the next generation to discover and unlock their potential.

SPARK a Change

Golden Key’s mission is to enable members realize their potential. Now, we are asking you to take on a new mission with our SPARK a Change initiative. Watch the video to find out more!


Join the SPARK movement! By 2017, Golden Key aims to raise $40,000, dedicate 400,000 hours of service and impact 400,000 lives in local communities & around the world.
SPARK goals


The Service Toolkit is your one-stop shop for everything SPARK. Inside you'll find templates for fundraising, marketing guides, event ideas, event checklists and more. Use these resources to help you plan your chapter's SPARK events. Visit the Service Toolkit now!

Please note: The Service Toolkit is only accessible to chapter officers, leaders and advisors. If you fit this criteria, you must log in with your Member ID at the top of the screen to view the Toolkit.


Registering Your Event

October is SPARK Month! Ready to start planning your event? Ask around and find out how your community can be benefitted the most! Select what project you want to do to make a difference. Then, register and report your events through the Golden Key website: Visit, log in using your GKID, go to “My Chapter Events” in the Toolkit and click “Add Event”. Make sure the event name you choose contains “SPARK” when registering.


October Is SPARK Month

Our first ever SPARK Month was October 2014! Click here to read about all the wonderful projects that GK members participated in. It's not too early to start planning an event for October 2015 that wors toward the SPARK a Change goals. 

Applying for a SPARK Award

The SPARK a Change chapter scholarship application window has closed. Winners for the 2014 SPARK a Change chapter awards were The University of Florida ($500), University of the Virgin Islands - St. Thomas ($300), University of Puerto Rica, Mayaguez ($300) and Ashford University ($200).


What is "At-Risk"?

An at-risk student is a student who, by virtue of their circumstances, is statistically more likely than others to fail academically. Factors that can contribute to a student being at-risk may include: low socioeconomic status, demographic background, family background (single parent families and students from large families are at greater risk), lack of parental involvement, poor academic history, student behavior, teacher perceptions of the student, etc.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics- Characteristics of At-Risk Students (

Where is the $40,000 Going?

All funds (check or money orders) must be mailed to headquarters or transferred using Billhighway (US Only).  All transactions must include a completed “Money Submission” form (found on the Chapter Toolkit). As funds arrive at headquarters, the money will be put into a SPARK-only account until 2017. Before International Summit 2017, there will be a collaborative effort to choose a program or organization that corresponds with SPARK a Change to donate the entire $40,000. By donating a lump sum of $40,000 to one organization, we feel this donation will have a measurable impact on the recipient organization, thus fulfilling the mission of SPARK a Change. The recipient organization will be announced at International Summit 2017. If you have further questions, please email Katie Hiatt at

Goal: Dollars Raised

Goal: Hours Performed

Goal: Lives Impacted

Visit Easy Fundraising Ideas
Visit Easy Fundraising Ideas(9,800+ hours)
Visit Easy Fundraising Ideas2(6,600+ lives touched)

Featured Service Project

This month, we’d like to highlight the GK chapter at the University of Vermont. Dr. Kathleen Liang, the chapter advisor, teaches a service-learning and experiential-learning course at UVM called Introduction to Community Entrepreneurship. In the course, there is an activity called the Dollar Enterprise Program where students learn entrepreneurial procedures directly through a new-venture creation experience. Students actually learn about theories, and directly start new ventures at UVM! A team consists of 11-12 individuals get $11-$12 per team as seed money. Dollar Enterprise simulates a formation of any business in the real world from teamwork, generating resources, creating coalitions, and building community partners, to dealing with day-to-day operations, assessment, optimization, and time management.  Once the semester begins, it takes one month to prepare and apply for food permits and business details.  Each team runs their business for 4 weeks (at least 3 hours every day from Monday through Friday, between 8am to 5pm) during the semester in various pre-reserved locations on campus only. At the end of the Dollar Enterprise activities, all proceeds are donated to charity organizations. At the end of the 4-week business activity, each team concludes with a business report, financial report, self-assessment, and final team member assessment.  Each team donates all proceeds to local charities and a Community Entrepreneurship Education fund that has been established to assist future students who are interested in becoming successful Community Entrepreneurs. Since the spring of 2005, Dollar Enterprise has worked with over 20 Vermont organizations to generate more than $50,000 for more than 300 charity organizations.

Want your SPARK project featured? Email Katie Hiatt at

UVM service

Did You Know?

Jan 2015 infographic

SPARK hashtag