SparkOpportunity Winner: Dani Bowman

June 13, 2012


Dani Bowman is a 17-year-old high school junior with autism—and a love of animation, illustration, and creating fun entertainment for children of all ages. Dani founded Powerlight Studios at age 11, hoping to employ other youth who have autism. She is the winner of the Irvine Foundation California Youth Innovation Award in the SparkOpportunity Challenge.

View Dani's full Challenge entry >>   |   Meet all the winners >>

Here, Dani shares more about her project in a Q&A with SparkAction.

What's your idea?  I have a small animation company called Powerlight Animation Studios that I started when I was 11. My dream is to employ others with autism at Powerlight Studios, utilizing their amazing visual skills. Only 10 percent of autistic adults are employed at all, and those who are employed are employed below their true abilities and skills. I hope to change that.

Are you currently a student or working?  Both! I am just finishing my junior year in high school and working at my animation company.

Why did you decide to submit to the Challenge?  I am always looking for ways to expand Powerlight Studios and publicize what I am trying to do with the company, which is to showcase the abilities that people with autism have, and help employ them.

What in your life or background inspired you come up with the idea?  I have autism and love animation, art and telling stories. My aunt and uncle helped me get started, and I've met a network of friends who have autism and love the same things that I do. Dani Bowman

I've started to include these friends in my projects, and I hope to soon create a full working studio and an opportunity to employ others with autism.

What will you do with the grant money?  The first thing is a small investment in some equipment that will allow me to take advantage of a recent sponsorship I recieved from the Janro Imaging company to use their 3D animation package SANDEE.

Follow Dani & Powerlight Studios at @pwrlightstudios!


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 >>