SparkOpportunity Winner: Angela Cammack

June 13, 2012


Angela proposes a study to measure the impacts of high-quality after-school programs that help children excel in school and life. This project was chosen by the YLI Youth Ambassadors as a winner of the SparkOpportunity Challenge.

View Angela's entry  >>    |    Meet all the winners >>

Here, Angela shares more about this project in a Q&A with SparkAction.

What's your idea?  I would like to measure the impact of meaningful and accessible afterschool education programs (especially during the summer months) for children in the urban environment. I hope to help communities and schools implement programs that help children excel, value education, learn how to cope with academic, social, and emotional problems, and gain self-confidence to boost their achievement and overall quality of life.

Are you currently a student or working?  I am a recent graduate of Wheaton College in Norton, MA.

Why did you decide to submit to the Challenge?  As the policy director of the Wheaton College chapter of the Roosevelt Institute I spent a lot of time helping others cultivate effective and innovative ideas. I truly believe that young people of all ages, backgrounds, skill sets and expertise have interesting and life-changing ideas that can and should change the face of our country for the better. I feel that a contest like this supports these efforts and helps to bring awareness to opportunities for young people everywhere.

What in your life or background inspired you come up with the idea?  I have always been interested in working with children, and over the past four years my interest has focused specifically on educational practices and problems in the U.S.. As a psychology major I am drawn to the way that scientific research can be used in conjunction with intervention programs to create meaningful and lasting change.

What will you do with the grant money?  First and foremost, I hope to do a bit more research about existing practices regarding the impact of afterschool education and summer activities. From there I hope to work with my mentor to isolate the best practices that can be implemented and realized in an actual community setting.

Why do you feel it is important to help other youth?  I've learned that early education forges the foundation of a child’s lifelong academic career. I view this as a time of limitless developmental potential during which every child should be given the chance to start off on the right foot. At this age, a child’s self-esteem and confidence in academics and social situations are created. Therefore it is essential to create both an awareness of the existing problems and become actively engaged by changing the lives of at-risk youth for the better.

What are you hoping that your idea accomplishes?  I hope that my idea will be able to have direct impact on the lives of children and in the way that policy surrounding the issues of childhood education is addressed on a larger scale.

Do you have any fun talents or hobbies you would like to share with us?  I enjoy spending time with family and friends, watching movies, trying new recipes in the kitchen and re-reading my favorite books and series from childhood in quirky local coffee shops.

Follow Angela at @angelacammack!

Meet all the SparkOpportunity Challenge winners >>

The SparkOpportunity Challenge was a crowdsourcing competition for young people to share their ideas on how to create local jobs and opportunities for youth.  The Challenge was developed by SparkAction and the Youth Leadership Institute and joined Jon Bon Jovi in support of the White House Council for Community Solutions. Learn more >>