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Welcome Home, Couragion!

Today is a monumental day for MindSpark. We are thrilled to announce we’ve acquired long-time partner Couragion. Not only are we adding this wonderful organization to our family, Couragion’s former CEO Melissa Risteff is joining us as our Chief Strategy Officer. 


You might recognize the name. While we’ve personally known Couragion and Melissa Risteff since 2015, many of you might know them through our partnership that created STEMpath, our 24-credit grad-level Computer Science (CS) certification program. Since its launch in 2019, it remains one of our most coveted professional learning offerings, proven to boost the capability and diversity of STEM and CS teachers, and increase the number of students ready to pursue STEM careers.


Couragion provides STEM career literacy and workforce development solutions for educators, students, and advocates. With intentional impact-first methods to encourage the participation of underrepresented students, Couragion advances student intention, motivation and confidence rates to pursue rewarding career pathways.


Like any extraordinary partnership, Couragion and MindSpark are completely aligned in beliefs, passions, and approaches. You’ve read about MindSpark’s “Our Spark by now. Here’s how Couragion supports our why:


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:


Couragion elevates diverse role models to build awareness of what’s possible and has demonstrated outcomes serving underrepresented and highly-impacted students. 70% of Couragion role models are female and 40% are from communities of color. The experiences are virtual and accessible to all users. Couragion’s design inherently examines bias and assumptions while providing access to robust career pathways. 


Workforce Literacy:


Couragion nurtures ongoing, mutually beneficial relationships with industry partners to highlight role models and the jobs of today and tomorrow. Couragion is a key resource to directly support the early exposure and continued immersion in what is the future of work and the workforce. Educators are upskilled to understand labor market needs and students are enlightened about potential career pathways and opportunities. 


Resilient and Healthy Communities:


Couragion layers onto MindSpark’s work with intentional outcomes, activities, and immersion in occupational identities. From inception, Couragion has focused on exploring self-awareness and aspirations, capturing student voice, cultivating motivation-confidence-intention metrics for STEM career pathways, and analyzing key performance indicators to prove a broader impact is being achieved. All of this contributes to building healthy occupational identities for students.


Disruptive Practices:


Couragion exemplifies disruption as an exemplar platform that is different from other career awareness and readiness tools. Couragion models systems thinking, sees problems as opportunities, doesn’t accept the status quo or complacency, and celebrates change. Couragion understands that disruption is a process. 


What does this mean for you? 


Together, we will continue to work together with educators and administrators, industry partners, and communities to reengineer education into a high-impact sector that solves society’s biggest challenges. Our combined teams and Couragion’s technology platform will offer our customers and partners more accessible and equitable solutions on a global scale. We will be integrating Couragion’s platform across our experience offerings. 


For more information on the acquisition, check out our press release. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at www.mindspark.org/contact.

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