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Sometimes You Just Need a Lifeline


Life happens. Our Scholars are working diligently to succeed at school – and life. But emergencies happen and the student may need help to solve. Sometimes a Scholar just needs the Lifeline Fund.

Group of students.

Exhausting all options

Evaluating the situation

When a Scholar applies for a Lifeline grant, we understand the urgency. They need rent or groceries. Their car was stolen and they can’t afford transit. Their laptop dies.

Emotions are running high. It can be difficult at those moments to find already available resources. 

Our team works with the Scholar to check out campus and community resources that may be able to address some of their urgent issues before determining whether to issue a grant. 

Moving the needle

Enabling Persistence

This process gives us a moment to “check-in” with the student who may be feeling overwhelmed by everything or feeling disconnected from their community.

Scholars are many things: smart, hardworking and driven to succeed – but they are also typically the first one in their family to attend college and may need support to navigate.

When we evaluate whether to provide the grant, we want to be sure it will help them persist in school and “move the needle” in their life.

Your gift can help

Where would your support go?

To essentials:




Personal items

School Supplies


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 $7,000 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.