The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Foundation are continuing a successful internship program that supports STEM learning and workforce development. This summer, the Chamber placed 12 students in IT internships with clients of the Illinois Small Business Development Center. 

Partnering with CompTIA and CPS Early College STEM Schools, the initiative allows students to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom in their work. Students build websites, create digital multimedia presentations, and develop social media platforms. 

This summer, the Chamber welcomed two STEM program interns, Leonardo Caballero and Brianna Day. Leonardo and Briana are both from Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy in Ashburn. 

Leonardo, who just graduated from Sarah Goode, will be attending Bradley University this fall as a computer science major—the first in his family ever to attend college.  As an IT intern last summer, he worked as a game developer.  This summer, his internship has him concentrating on website development.

“I like to explore and learn.  I’m inspired by the people using technology to create new ideas, new things, new worlds,” said Leonardo. He intends to hone his programming skills and aspires to develop the next innovative app.

Briana returns to Sarah Goode this fall to finish her senior year.  Upon graduation, she has her sights set on majoring in criminal justice.  Encouraged by her family, she plans to become an attorney.  Her STEM program is helping to create a disciplined and analytical mind.

“I’m encountering new information.  There’s a bit of a learning curve,” Brianna says of her experience thus far, “but I just need to work hard to push through it.”

Students gain valuable employment experience, build an impressive resume, and sharpen their skills, while small businesses receive an IT resource. The mutual relationship encourages workforce development, business support, and community oneness.