Since 1993, Spark the Journey (previously Capital Partners for Education) has placed hundreds of motivated students from families with low incomes on the path to high school graduation, college completion, and career success. Eighty percent are first-generation-to-college students; 99% are students of color; all are from families with low incomes that face systemic barriers to education. Starting in tenth grade and continuing through college, Spark offers a continuum of one-on-one mentoring, academic support, career preparation, and workforce development services. This intensive, long-term approach does wonders: 97% of students who have completed the high school mentoring program have enrolled in college and gone on to graduate at more than double the rate of their similarly-situated peers, prepared to be successful in their careers and to improve their economic security. A cap and gown and a new beginning are within reach.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 2

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide; MD-Montgomery County; MD-Prince George's County

Age Groups Served: Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Asian American; Caucasian; Latino/Hispanic; Other

Population(s) Served: Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members; Men/Boys; Women/Girls; Students

Schools They Work In: We partner with 20 private high schools in the DC metro area.

Awards & Recognition

Despite its relatively small size, the CPE program is gaining recognition for its quality programming and impressive outcomes.

In 2005, the Washingtonian magazine named CPE one of the top 40 nonprofit organizations in the city making a difference for young people.

In 2006, 2010, and 2014 the Catalogue for Philanthropy recommended CPE to its readers as one of the 10 best education charities in the area.

In 2011, Capital Partners for Education received Honorable Mention for The Center for Nonprofit Advancement's Board Leadership Award.


Budget (FY2023)

  • The current budget for Spark the Journey is: $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About Spur Local

Each year 150+ community advocates review applicants on the basis of governance, equity, and impact. Each featured nonprofit has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. Spur Local charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $57 million for nonprofits across the Greater Washington region.

Spur Local looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to Spur Local to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

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