Join us for one of our 2020 SPARK Destination Experiences

The SPARK Experience

Early Bird Registration Pricing: $797 per person, all-inclusive

Early Bird Pricing Deadlines:

  • South Carolina: April 15, 2020

Regular Registration Pricing: $997 per person, all-inclusive
Group Registration: $897 per person, all-inclusive

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Register Today (payment plan)

Join Us for an Upcoming SPARK Destination Experience!

Since 2014, SPARK co-founders Dr. LaMarr Darnell Shields and Dr. Marina V. Gillmore have been equipping teachers, school administrators, non-profit leaders, social workers, and other youth service providers with the tools and strategies to positively transform their own lives and, by extension, their professional practices.

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Register Here! (Payment Plan)
Our previous retreat attendees have come from schools and organizations including:
  • Family Support Network, Palm Desert, CA
  • Building Resilience in African American Families, Palm Desert, CA
  • Friends First, Littleton, CO
  • Goal Academy, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Palm Springs Unified School District, Palm Springs, CA
  • PRAISE Academy, Baltimore, MD
  • Mt. Washington School, Baltimore, MD
  • Forrest Park High School, Baltimore, MD
  • Tupelo School District, Tupelo, MS
  • Memphis Public Schools, Memphis, TN
  • Hamilton County Department of Education, Hamilton, TN
  • Troup County Schools, LaGrange, GA

What makes the SPARK experience unique


Structured space and processes in a beautiful, natural setting to intentionally reflect on your purpose to profession alignment and the role that wellness, self-efficacy, strengths, passion, and other elements play into the work you do on a daily basis.


Opportunity to connect with other transformational change agents in the field who are also committed to their own personal and professional growth and development.


Proven tools, resources, and a carefully-constructed curriculum to help you improve your life and, by extension, your professional efficacy and practice.

What you will take away from the SPARK experience


Participants will leave SPARK with clarity on the direction of their professional course and the roles that their own wellness, mindfulness, and purpose-to-profession alignment play in their careers on a daily basis.

Renewal & Drive

Participants will leave SPARK feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to tackle the next phase of their professional lives with intention.


Participants will leave SPARK with the tools and strategies they need to focus on their most important work on a daily basis, including time management and mindfulness strategies.

Retreat Agenda Overview

Day 1: Explorations

Check-In and Welcome Reception

Session 1: Sparking Community


Session 2: Sparking Connection

Quiet Reflection

Day 2: Digging Deeper

Optional Sunrise Yoga and Guided Meditation

Optional Fitness Class or Guided Run/Walk


Session 3: Sparking Change Part I

Session 4: Sparking Change Part 2


Session 5: Sparking Congruence

Labyrinth or Guided Meditative Walk

Fireside Chat with Guest Speaker


Session 6: Film Viewing with Discussion

Day 3: Looking Forward

Optional Sunrise Yoga and Guided Meditation

Optional Fitness Class or Guided Run/Walk


Session 7: Sparking Clarity


Closing Session & Celebration

Come Experience SPARK

Each SPARK experience is held at a unique and beautiful property that enhances your three-day long journey and takes full advantage of both the indoor and outdoor space that these one-of-a-kind locations have to offer. Everything we do at SPARK is highly intentional, and part of what makes this experience far exceed most traditional conferences and other professional development experiences is the space in which we immerse ourselves in the learning, collaboration and transformation.


100 percent of all donations go to support our SPARK scholarship program, which makes it possible for deserving teachers, social workers, and other change agents to attend one of our SPARK experiences and, in turn, transform the lives of the youth they serve daily.

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We believe that connection, dialogue, and community are the keys to sustained growth and change – both internal and external. Sign up here to join our mailing list and we’ll keep you up-to-date on all SPARK-related happenings.