About Spark the Wave

We empower, train, and mentor the next generation of leaders who will impact the world through a lifelong commitment to community service.

Every year, thousands of teens perform millions of hours of service.

But very few receive any specialized training that could enhance their community impact. It is our belief that the young adults who complete our programs will return to their service groups—school, religious, or community-based—better prepared to make a greater impact in their communities. This impact will have a ripple effect that reaches far beyond just the participants themselves. As young leaders with the commitment and skills to turn caring into action, these teens will undoubtedly make positive contributions to their communities for many years to come.

Spark the Wave has proudly trained over 20,000 teens, who in turn have impacted hundreds of thousands of community members.

Spark the Wave’s educational programs were first created in 1976 when the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania began hosting an annual Leadership Development Center (LDC) to educate young people about the value of citizen service. As LDC and its importance in the community continued to grow, the Red Cross allowed the group to spin off its operation in January 2004 to facilitate a more comprehensive, year-round approach to reaching young people in Philadelphia and beyond. Spark the Wave was incorporated in 2004 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the United States. We put on our first Service Seminar in the spring of 2004 for Holy Trinity School in Washington, DC. In 2005, we put on Wave Week I at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia for 39 participants. Wave Week has grown exponentially, adding our International Institute in Moldova in 2009 and a Washington, DC option in 2013 & 2016. Spark the Wave also offers service mentoring, Club Wave, and Day of Service programs.