Emerge

The Emerge Summer Career and Leadership Program is a paid summer internship and leadership development program that pairs college students from under-resourced communities with Chicago area businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

Emerge was launched in the summer of 2018 through a partnership between Invest For Kids and Chicago Scholars. In addition to training Scholars in a variety of skills, the program provides businesses with a pipeline to qualified talent from all neighborhoods of Chicago.

Interns are high performing, motivated college students who are admitted into the program through a rigorous application process. Career Partners provide meaningful summer employment to the Scholars in a range of industries, including finance, law, manufacturing, technology and the not-for-profit arena.

A unique feature of this program is the Friday Growth Lab. For the duration of the program, students work 4 days a week at their host sites. Every Friday, at a different venue, they participate in seminars designed to complement the internship experience. Each seminar day also includes a prominent guest speaker, deepening the Scholars’ exposure to Chicago’s business and civic community.

In the summer of 2022, 23 distinguished businesses and not-for-profit organizations provided internships to 53 Emerge Scholars.

Women’s Initiative

The Invest For Kids Women’s Leadership Event was conceived to increase participation of female investment professionals in all aspects of Invest For Kids. We have a dedicated women’s subcommittee from our Advisory Committee that focuses on planning special events geared toward female investment professionals, increasing attendance at our conference, and identifying and selecting potential female speakers.

The cornerstone of these efforts is an annual event held mid-year that highlights the achievements, insights, and perspectives of female leaders in the investment industry. The event features prominent speakers and also provides a valuable opportunity for women to network and connect. In past years, speakers have included Sallie Krawcheck (Ellevest), Ellen Ellison (University of Illinois Foundation), Priya Parrish (Impact Engine), and Mary Tolan (Chicago Pacific Founders). In 2023, the Women’s Leadership Event was held in person at RPM On the Water and featured Jenny Just, co-founder of PEAK6 and founder of the not-for-profit Poker Power.

Since this initiative was established, the number of women who attend the Invest For Kids conference has more than quadrupled. Invest For Kids is committed to increasing the awareness and participation of women in the Chicago investment community.

Student Initiative

Since inception, Invest For Kids has invited students from leading universities to attend our conference free of charge. This effort was championed by John L. Keeley, Jr., the late founder of Keeley Asset Management in Chicago and a former Invest For Kids speaker.

Since inception, Invest For Kids has invited students from leading universities to attend our conference free of charge. This effort was championed by John L. Keeley, Jr., the late founder of Keeley Asset Management in Chicago and a former Invest For Kids speaker. This idea has grown from 7 students the first year to over 100 students attending each year from 9 schools and we are proud to partner with the Keeley family on this initiative.

INCS

Invest For Kids proudly sponsors the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) Excellence Awards. This program is designed to acknowledge excellence in the state’s charter school network.

Each year, INCS receives nominations for awards from across the Illinois charter sector, which spans 139 schools throughout the state. Invest For Kids provides rewards totaling $35,500 to the selected outstanding principal, high school teacher, elementary teacher, parent advocate, and high achieving students of the year. Finalists and winners are selected from an applicant pool of over 100 per year and are recognized at an annual reception attended by elected officials, public charter school leaders and community supporters.

Summer Investment Challenge

In 2022, Invest For Kids became the lead sponsor of DePaul University’s Summer Investment Challenge, an intensive 4-day summer program free of charge for Chicago high school students who are interested in learning about stock markets and careers in finance.

Students live on campus and study valuation principles, asset classes and financial instruments. The program culminates with students pitching stock proposals to a panel of professionals and receiving expert feedback. The program just concluded for the 2023 school year.