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Accessible Careers, Attainable Futures


Powered by Invest for Kids and Chicago Scholars, the Emerge Summer Career and Leadership Program matches Scholars with meaningful, paid internships at our partner businesses and organizations. Along the way, they attend workshops and Growth Labs to learn valuable networking skills, get resume and cover letter assistance, and gain insight into a variety of career paths.


Hear from Emerge Scholars and Partners

Don’t take our word for it — our Emerge Alumni and partners have great things to say about our program! Click the link below to see blog posts, reflections and more from past Emerge Scholars. Can you see yourself as an Emerge Scholar? Are you and your company interested in hosting an Emerge intern? Sign up to receive more information.

How will you grow this summer?

Why You Should Apply

Early internship experience

One-on-one conversations with Chicago’s top leaders

Personalized career support



Where could I be placed as an Emerge Scholar?

Emerge placements are based on the career interests and skills listed in a Scholar’s application. However, the primary goal of this program is career exploration, and Scholars are encouraged to keep an open mind even if their placements are not where they expected. Possible industries include finance, corporate business, law, non-profits, STEM, and government. Throughout the Emerge experience, Scholars will be introduced to multiple industries and learn cross-functional skills that will be useful in any career path.

What does a typical week look like for Emerge Scholars?

Emerge Scholars participate in fast-paced learning environments all summer long. Monday through Thursday, Scholars serve as interns at a company or organization; on Fridays, they attend immersive professional and leadership development sessions. Please note that while most internships are 9-5 Monday-Thursday, some organizations’ expectations may differ. You must confirm your working hours with your host organization.

Who is the ideal candidate for the Emerge Scholar Program?

The ideal Emerge Scholar is a dedicated, passionate leader who is eager to participate in this program no matter where they are placed. Emerge Scholars must be rising sophomores or juniors in college, plan to be in the Chicagoland area for the summer, and have demonstrated high academic performance, leadership potential, and initiative.

Will Emerge Scholars be paid throughout the summer?

Each Emerge Scholar recieves a stipend for their participation in the program, and transportation expenses are covered. Any additional supplies or materials required by the internship or for participation in the program will be covered by Emerge.

Get involved

Become an Emerge Partner

Emerge Partners host interns, provide space and programming for Growth Labs, and much more! If you and your company would like to partner with Emerge, please reach out to discuss what our partnership could look like.

Host a Scholar

An investment of $8,000 covers the cost of hosting an intern for the summer. Assistance is available for organizations that cannot afford the full cost of hosting an intern.

Sponsor a Scholar

If your organization can’t host an intern, you can still invest in the Emerge Program to help underwrite Scholars’ experiences elsewhere.

Host a Growth Lab

Growth Lab hosts provide Emerge Scholars with the opportunity to hear from a senior leader in the company, a facility tour, use of a conference room, and lunch.