Inspiring the Next Generation in the Tech Field 

In today’s rapidly changing world, we understand the power of providing our teens with access to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programs. These programs are not just about equations or coding; they inspire creativity, foster critical thinking, and give our young people the skills to tackle future challenges. 

The lack of diversity in the tech field means these opportunities are more important for our teens now than ever. Recent statistics highlight significant gaps in diversity within STEM jobs for Black and Latinx populations. As of 2022, Black workers represent only about 7% of the tech workforce, and Latinx workers make up roughly 8%, considerably lower than their proportions in the overall U.S. population​(Enterprise Apps Today)​. 

As we gear up for our summer programs, we are excited to share some of the STEM programs we offer our teens. These have introduced our young people to new career paths in the tech field and given them the tools they need to thrive.  

In the Bridgeport Audio Electronics program, teens learn about electrical theory and practice. They also learn how to solder, and other skills needed to be an electrical engineer. This past spring, participants built their own studio mixing console from the ground up. 

In the Carpentry program at Charles A. Prosser Career Academy High School in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood, teens learn skills to create items like dressers and learn about career paths available to them in the field. 

The young people in the Makerspace program in the North Grand community use STEAM technology to design and create items like vinyl stickers, mousepads, mugs, and even socks. They begin in the computer lab using graphic design and then print, cut, or use a heat press to get their personalized final product. Teens in the Advanced Plumbing Program, in partnership with Chicago Public Schools at the local 130 Plumbers Hall, learn how to use power tools to fit pipes and about career opportunities available to them.  

Teens in the Advanced Plumbing program, in partnership with Chicago Public Schools at the local 130 Plumbers Hall, learn how to use power tools to fit pipes and about career opportunities available to them.  

Teens in the Renewable Energy program with Hire 360 at Charles A. Prosser Career Academy High School learn engineering skills and about possible career paths by building race cars and learning how to drive and fix them. 

Many Chicago students face significant barriers to accessing quality education in these critical fields. By providing opportunities to learn STEM skills, we can bridge this gap and provide our teens with the path to shine in an increasingly technology-driven world. These programs not only pave the way for individual success but also contribute to the city’s economic growth and innovation.