Young Sparks Foundation

Young Sparks Foundation YSF is dedicated to providing the opportunity to learn a valuable trade to under served Bay Area youth. Funded through donations and sale of Welding Classes for Adults, Teens and Families.
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We introduce youth to opportunities in the Metal Industrial Trades Founder / Chair ~ Day Pollini While in search of a new career, Day fell in love the creative potential in the industry of metal fabrication. While visiting Northern California, Day discovered a vast community of artists living and working in the SF/Oakland Bay Area. After moving to Oakland in 2007, she had the opportunity to work with prominent local metal Artists such as Karen Cusolito, and joined art collectives like the Flaming Lotus Girls. Day also did some work on highly acclaimed artists such as Brad Howe, and Anish Kapoor. She has been a member of the Burning Man community since 2003 and worked on 4 large-scale interactive art installations for the Burning Man Festival. Day has 15+ years experience in Admin/Bookkeeping and other aspects of running a small business, including Non-Profits. She has been a member of the American Welding Society since 2008. Day adores living in Oakland with her daughter. Advisor / Co-Chair ~ Dale Phillips Dale is currently a Welding Instructor at the Laney Community College Welding Technology program. He has been an Instructor of Welding at Laney for the past 20 years. Dale holds degrees in both Civil, and Structural Engineering from San Jose State University. Dale has 35 years experience in the welding and fabrication industry and, in addition to teaching, he has been a Certified Welding Inspector for the past 14 years. He enjoys living in the East Bay with his wife, daughter, son and granddaughter. He has been an active member of the American Welding Society since 1989. Advisor / Co-Chair ~ Louis Quindlen Louis has been an Instructor of Machine Technology for over 10 years and has held the Department Chair since. Louis has extensive experience as a Machinist and Fabricator. Starting in 1981. He worked in the machine shop at the Hoover Dam using probably the largest known lathe in the world, working on water powered turbines. He has worked at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, primarily working in Research & Development for repairs and improvements on Submarines. Louis is in active positive discussions with the Oakland Unified School Board to re-introduce Machining & Welding course back into the local High Schools. He is also managing an Apprenticeship Program for Women Machinists who graduate from the Laney Community College program. Louis has enjoyed life in the Bay Area since 1977.

We introduce youth to opportunities in the Metal Industrial Trades Founder / Chair ~ Day Pollini While in search of a new career, Day fell in love the creative potential in the industry of metal fabrication. While visiting Northern California, Day discovered a vast community of artists living and working in the SF/Oakland Bay Area. After moving to Oakland in 2007, she had the opportunity to work with prominent local metal Artists such as Karen Cusolito, and joined art collectives like the Flaming Lotus Girls. Day also did some work on highly acclaimed artists such as Brad Howe, and Anish Kapoor. She has been a member of the Burning Man community since 2003 and worked on 4 large-scale interactive art installations for the Burning Man Festival. Day has 15+ years experience in Admin/Bookkeeping and other aspects of running a small business, including Non-Profits. She has been a member of the American Welding Society since 2008. Day adores living in Oakland with her daughter. Advisor / Co-Chair ~ Dale Phillips Dale is currently a Welding Instructor at the Laney Community College Welding Technology program. He has been an Instructor of Welding at Laney for the past 20 years. Dale holds degrees in both Civil, and Structural Engineering from San Jose State University. Dale has 35 years experience in the welding and fabrication industry and, in addition to teaching, he has been a Certified Welding Inspector for the past 14 years. He enjoys living in the East Bay with his wife, daughter, son and granddaughter. He has been an active member of the American Welding Society since 1989. Advisor / Co-Chair ~ Louis Quindlen Louis has been an Instructor of Machine Technology for over 10 years and has held the Department Chair since. Louis has extensive experience as a Machinist and Fabricator. Starting in 1981. He worked in the machine shop at the Hoover Dam using probably the largest known lathe in the world, working on water powered turbines. He has worked at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, primarily working in Research & Development for repairs and improvements on Submarines. Louis is in active positive discussions with the Oakland Unified School Board to re-introduce Machining & Welding course back into the local High Schools. He is also managing an Apprenticeship Program for Women Machinists who graduate from the Laney Community College program. Louis has enjoyed life in the Bay Area since 1977.

Mission: We introduce youth to opportunities in the Metal Industrial Trades & Fabrication Industry and inspire a career as a Metal Artist/Creative Fabricator through an Apprentice Program. www.youngsparksfoundation.org

Operating as usual

04/09/2020

What can we do around here when the Apprentice Program is put on hold indefinitely?..

01/14/2020

Ameera is a high school student from MetWest H.S. in Oakland, Ca. She is earning internship credit. I am her Mentor in Metal Fabrication. We are building an outdoor bench for the front of her school. She loves it and is doing great! We will post photos upon completion.

11/22/2019

My newest student and I visited the Rosie The Riveter Museum today. It was quite enlightening! I highly recommend going.

I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to do TIG welding again on another art sculpture. I can't reveal yet the p...
10/07/2019

I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to do TIG welding again on another art sculpture. I can't reveal yet the project title and artist until it's completed next month. I had a rough start but had a wonderful expert mentor get me back up to speed with my TIG skills. If I had a TIG machine of my own I'd be using it ALL the time. I am in love with it. I love the high quality and refined appearance it leaves behind. It's an ultra satisfying experience for me.

fellow local metal artist needs support after major loss. donate and/or share if you can. thanks
08/19/2019
Click here to support WELDER GIRL Heather Lentz's Fire Recovery Fund organized by Charles Freeman

fellow local metal artist needs support after major loss. donate and/or share if you can. thanks

Last Friday morning a fire broke out at M0xy, an Oakland artist warehouse where Heather AKA Welder Girl had her bustling welding business www.theweldergirl.com. Within hours, her entire workshop was completely burned to the ground along with 18 years of her accumulated tools, heavy machinery, wel...

08/01/2019

Most of my adult students come to me through booking sites like Verlocal .com and AirBnB. The women friends below learned these skills from my in one day and created first class art projects! If you or anyone you think might enjoy this thrilling metal sculpture class, share this link:
https://www.verlocal.com/event/oakland-welding-metal-sculpture

07/04/2019

This summer I'm teaching a Metal Art Camp for 10 ~ 13 y.o.

Hi Fans of the Young Sparks Foundation! It's been a while I know so here's the update! I was hired to host a summer camp...
06/16/2019
CAMP 510

Hi Fans of the Young Sparks Foundation! It's been a while I know so here's the update! I was hired to host a summer camp for three week-long sessions. I will be training teens the shop basics including Wire-feed welding then they will choose a project to build individually and take home. This is the first year I've hosted a week long camp so, I'm very excited for this opportunity! SOOOOoooo, If you know of any teens in the East Bay who might love to learn how to build metal art then, have them sign up ASAP
at www.camp510.com The 3 weeks to chose from are June 24- 28, July 1-4, July 8-12. There are still a few spots available.

A values-driven summer day camp for ages 6-14 with the mission to cultivate confident and creative young maker in the spirit of D-I-T (do it together!). Located at Park Day School in Temescal, Oakland.

Young Sparks Foundation's cover photo
05/10/2019

Young Sparks Foundation's cover photo

Mutopia; built in 2008
05/10/2019

Mutopia; built in 2008

Hi, Can anyone help me find a FISCAL SPONSOR to allow me to accept grants for my Apprentice Training Program? If you nee...
04/22/2019
Inspiring New Young Sparks in the Metal Arts & Trade

Hi, Can anyone help me find a FISCAL SPONSOR to allow me to accept grants for my Apprentice Training Program? If you need more information about my program you can visit site: http://youngsparksfoundation.org
Or message me directly. Thank you.

Welding & Metal Sculpture Classes for Adults and Teens which fund an Art & Trades Apprenticeship for Under served Youth.

02/14/2019

Wow, how time flies! Sorry I haven't put any updates out in a long while. Since my last post, I've mentored three youth last fall/spring. All of them were offered work immediately after completing the Apprentice Training Program with me at Young Sparks Foundation. One new young man is attending the program part-time right now and, I have one young lady interested in starting this Fall 2019! I'm sure to take on one additional Apprentice once I put the word out to local High Schools. That is when I will need some support from fans so I can increase the time I spend in the workshop with these youth. I'll be sending another shout out soon! Thanks for staying connected with YSF!

06/27/2018

One of the three Apprentices in my Training Program is a Senior at MetWest High school in Oakland, CA. This here is his final project he designed and created (with a bit of my assistance). Isn't it fantastic?! I'm so proud! Francisco now is a talented young creative metal fabricator! Graduate of the 2018 Young Sparks Foundation "Apprentice Training Program" (and of MetWest H.S.).

One of the three Apprentices in my Training Program is a Senior at MetWest High school in Oakland, CA. This here is his ...
06/26/2018

One of the three Apprentices in my Training Program is a Senior at MetWest High school in Oakland, CA. This here is his final project he designed and created (with a bit of my assistance). Isn't it fantastic?! I'm so proud! Francisco now is a talented young creative metal fabricator! Graduate of the 2018 Young Sparks Foundation "Apprentice Training Program" (and of MetWest H.S.).

The YSF Apprentices and I went on a field trip last week. We visited the workshop of local metal sculptor Marco Cochrane...
11/14/2017

The YSF Apprentices and I went on a field trip last week. We visited the workshop of local metal sculptor Marco Cochrane. The experience was surreal.

Ha ha ha! We were at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire this past Sunday, offering kids the experience of cutting metal using...
10/26/2017

Ha ha ha! We were at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire this past Sunday, offering kids the experience of cutting metal using a hand-held Plasma Cutter. They were thrilled! And I was thrilled to promote our Teen Apprentice Program at the Young Sparks Foundation! yeay!

10/11/2017

UPDATE: Hey Fans, I recently started training two Teenagers from the local High School to become metal fabrication Apprentices. I already have two fabrication shops who are willing to mentor them further and offer them the hands-on job experience they need. I'm thrilled this program is taking off! Soon I will be requesting support from fans in order to keep the ball rolling. Thank you all!

09/20/2017

I have my first Apprentice for the Teens in the Trades Program! We will first focus on welding, plasma cutting and safety in the workshop. YEAAAY! It has begun!
...By the way everyone, I'm still in need of more Mentors.

07/07/2017

Good News! The Art & Tech Professor at McClymonds High School is super excited to hear of the Young Sparks Fnd apprentice program. He wants to connect and collaborate with me to make it happen starting this Fall semester. However, I have yet to find a new workshop space before the end of August when my lease at American Steel building ends. If you know anyone willing to share their space with us on weekends then, Please send me their contact info. Thank you.

06/20/2017

Good News today. The Art Professor at McClymonds High School in Oakland, CA just contacted me about the Teen Apprentice Program and he said they are very interested in making it happen this fall! Yeaaay!

06/12/2017

Hey Friends! I am in search of new workshop space to share. If you know any metal artists who might be willing to share their workspace for use on the weekends then, please give them my information or send me theirs. Needs to be in Oakland, Emeryville, Berkeley etc [East Bay]. Thank you!
[email protected]

SEEKING MENTOR ARTISTS NOW....It is our mission at the Young Sparks Foundation to inspire teens and young adults to purs...
05/30/2017
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SEEKING MENTOR ARTISTS NOW....
It is our mission at the Young Sparks Foundation to inspire teens and young adults to pursue a career in the metal trades and the arts. As you know, our civilized world is in desperate need of more metal artisans, machinists and metal trades people. I am relying heavily on my community of fellow metal artists and creative fabricators to assist me in pursuing this philanthropic endeavor. However, we are not alone, we have the moral support and guidance from the Machining and Welding Departments of Laney Community College, as well. I'm wondering if you are interested in taking on a teen apprentice under your wing on current or upcoming projects in your workshop? Every Teen who is selected to participate in the program will first receive basic training by me in my workshop (yep, still at Am Steel). Basic training will consist of MIG welding (and possibly TIG), use of bench top drill press, the band saw, angle grinder/sanding techniques, use of hand files, manual plasma cutting, a chop saw, a bench grinder, and variety of other metal shop equipment. Anything I got available! However, It will be the highest priority of mine that every Young Sparks Program "Apprentice" acquires a clear understanding of general shop safety and respect for the artist with whom they will work, all fellow shop persons, all shop equipment and all the art. A Mentor would be expected to provide the student additional training as needed and give student same opportunity offered to any adult who might volunteer (or be hired) on one of your projects. If you can not take someone in as a "volunteer" then, it would be acceptable to hire the Teen Apprentice at same rate any "intern" might receive. A minimum weekly visit to the workshop for a few hours once a week is acceptable however, twice a week for a half day or longer would be most beneficial for an Apprentice to gain valuable experience and (hopefully) be inspired to pursue the metal trades and/or the metal arts. A schedule that suits both parties will be worked out. Please contact me asap if you are willing to start this Summer, even if its just for a month. I welcome leads to other artists and creative fabricators you think may have interest in being a Mentor. I invite you to visit the YSF website. Thank you all for being supportive!
Sincerely, ~ Day Pollini
http://youngsparksfoundation.org

Welding & Metal Sculpture Classes for Adults and Teens which fund an Art & Trades Apprenticeship for Under served Youth.

Hey Friends and Future Artists, I'm headed to the BAY AREA MAKER FAIRE this weekend [May 19, 20, 21st] for fun, educatio...
05/17/2017
Our Featured Faires - Maker Faire

Hey Friends and Future Artists, I'm headed to the BAY AREA MAKER FAIRE this weekend [May 19, 20, 21st] for fun, education, networking, and research. Anyone interested in joining me, let me know! It's going to be a blast! I never miss this event!
Located: 2497-2599 S Delaware St, San Mateo, CA 94403
Link: http://makerfaire.com/featured-faires/

The Greatest Show (& Tell) on Earth. Maker Faire is part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new! As a celebration of the Maker Movement, it’s a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness.

04/28/2017

Don't let the fearless little six year old GIRL fool you...THIS CLASS IS FOR ADULTS AND TEENS !
But, its so fun even the little kids want to try! REGISTER HERE http://youngsparksfoundation.org

When given the opportunity, women often excel at the same skills and trades which have been dominated by Men for decades...
04/28/2017
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When given the opportunity, women often excel at the same skills and trades which have been dominated by Men for decades. So ladies, girls, and women...I tell you now...to be courageous, be fearless, be a strong female and invite your boyfriend to take this class with you! You'll BOTH love it! I promise! http://youngsparksfoundation.org

Welding & Metal Sculpture Classes for Adults and Teens which fund an Art & Trades Apprenticeship for Under served Youth.

04/18/2017

Here is one of my newest students completing his project, a scrap-tastic race car!

Address

1960 Mandela Pkwy
Oakland, CA
94607

BART station - West Oakland, CA

General information

Not only do we offer fun Welding/Sculpture class for a fee but, we are currently seeking Metal Artists & Creative Metal Fabricators to become participants in the Apprentice/Artist Mentor Program. Our goal is to launch the program this Spring 2016. Please let us know if you are interested. Also seeking cash and/or tool donations. Thank you.

Opening Hours

Saturday 10:30 - 17:00
Sunday 11:00 - 17:00

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