It’s been said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. That is exactly the opportunity Junior Achievement provides to eighth graders at its annual JA JobSpark event, which provides them with hands-on learning and face-to-face encounters with professionals from a myriad of industries throughout Central Indiana.

Franciscan Health has been a proud partner of JA JobSpark since its inception three years ago and we’ll be on hand for this year’s event at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Our team will set up a mock operating room and allow participating 8th grade students to “perform” surgery using the highly sophisticated da Vinci robotic surgical system. Students will meet with our professionals and learn what roles our clinicians perform in the operating room.

Students will also have the opportunity to be part of an interactive emergency room setting and discover how nurses and doctors work together to care for patients. Participants will then be given an inside look of an ambulance, meet paramedics and find out the nature of their work as first responders to emergencies.

Further, Franciscan Health therapists (physical, occupational, speech, etc.), medical researchers, and allied health professionals will be present to explain what they do in a hospital setting and provide information about post-secondary educational opportunities and assistance.

Like our JA JobSpark partners, Franciscan Health knows that education – whether college, skilled trade, or national or public service – is the core of forging a well-prepared workforce. And that is a best way to invent a bright future for all of our youngsters.

Patricia Cassidy
Manager Employment Human Resources
Franciscan Health


JA JobSpark is a two-day hands-on career expo for Indianapolis 8th graders led by Junior Achievement of Central Indiana in partnership with educators and industry leaders.  This community-wide initiative is meant to “spark” an interest in students and get them excited for their future.  Students will learn about skills needed for jobs that will be in demand when they graduate, while utilizing equipment that is used in those jobs daily.  Students will have a better understanding of the courses they would need to take in high school, a track for post-secondary and a clear career pathway for what they find they’re interested in.  For more information about JA JobSpark, please go to www.jajobspark.org or contact Cindy Kicinski at cindyk@jaindy.org.