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Emerge 2021: Placing Young Leaders in Internships Across Chicago

Emerge Scholars gathered virtually every Friday to learn from industry professionals at Friday Growth Labs.

When Giovanni Garcia looks back on how he spent his summer, his internship with stands out. “This experience was invaluable to me,” Giovanni says. “I literally could not ask anyone in my family about an internship like this—I’m the first to experience it.”

A rising junior at the Illinois Institute of Technology, Giovanni had the opportunity to serve as the Associate Performance Manager Intern at through the Emerge Summer Career and Leadership Program. Created in partnership with Invest for Kids and Chicago Scholars, Emerge pairs college students with career partners around Chicago for paid internships. This summer 51 Scholars were paired with 30 of Chicago’s top companies and organizations. Not only did Emerge Scholars gain first-hand job experience, they also expanded their networks by having a direct supervisor at their internship, an Emerge Coach at Chicago Scholars, and by spending time with other Emerge Scholars at Friday Growth Labs and networking events.

“I am very grateful for the support system at I was given a mentor on day one,” Giovanni says. “And through my internship, I have become more comfortable in a nine-to-five work environment.”

But Giovanni wasn’t the only Scholar who interned at this summer. In fact, there were a total of nine Scholars at For D.V. Williams—the Chief People Officer at, a member of the Chicago Scholars Board of Directors, and a Chicago Scholars Alum—it was important for the company to get involved in Emerge.

“ is focused on investing in next-generation talent through our internship program,” says D.V. “Our goal is to continue to invest in communities in which we work, and we have refocused our internship efforts around that theme. Partnering with Emerge was a natural fit due to the quality of the talent pool and its critical focus on talent development.”

Diana Sanchez was another Emerge Scholar at A rising sophomore at Stanford University, Diana gained professional experience that will add to her resume, and she expanded her network. “The principal items that I have gained from Emerge have been building my network early on,” Diana says. “In the beginning, I didn’t really dedicate much time to cultivating my resume or LinkedIn, but Emerge has really stressed this aspect as vital in building a network which has paid off for me. I have also been able to connect with people in the program, even if it was virtually. These interactions were meaningful in building a larger network.”

This was Emerge’s fourth summer connecting Chicago’s college students to internship opportunities. After hosting nine interns this summer, the talent of Chicago’s young people stands out to D.V. “More companies should get involved with the Emerge program mainly because of the quality of talent, and the rigor around the ongoing development of that talent. Some of our interns have stayed on with us, and are valuable additions to the culture and team at”

For more information on Emerge and to learn how you or your company can get involved, check out the resources below. Our Scholars also put together an Emerge blog, where they shared reflections on their internships and essays about their lives.