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 nonprofits.

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 nonprofits. 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.

Emerge scaled from 21 paid interns in the summer of 2018 to 80 in 2019. Interns are high performing, motivated college students who are admitted into the program through a rigorous application process. Once accepted, they are interviewed and matched with a Career Partner for the duration of the summer. In 2019, 54 distinguished corporate and community Career Partners provided meaningful summer employment to the Scholars in a range of industries, including finance, law, health, publishing, technology and the nonprofit 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 2019, 19 businesses hosted Growth Labs.

Despite Covid-19, 25 Scholars participated in Emerge 2020 through modified or virtual internships.

Women’s Initiative

The Invest For Kids Women’s Initiative was conceived to increase participation of women 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 women investment professionals, increasing attendance at our conference, and identifying potential female speakers.

The Invest For Kids Women’s Initiative was conceived to increase participation of women 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 women investment professionals, increasing attendance at our conference, and identifying potential female speakers.

The cornerstone of these efforts is an annual event held mid-year focused exclusively on women investment professionals. These events feature well-known speakers or expert panelists who address investment topics of particular interest to women in the industry. Prior year speakers have included Sallie Krawcheck (Ellevest) Ellen Ellison (University of Illinois Foundation), Priya Parrish (Impact Engine), and Mary Tolan (Chicago Pacific Founders). In addition, this committee has helped secure a well-known group of women investment professionals to speak at our main conference each fall. These speakers have included Vivien Azer (Cowen and Company), Rupal Bhansali (Ariel Investments), Debra Cafaro (Ventas), Nehal Chopra (Tiger Ratan), Constance Freedman (Moderne Ventures), Jean Hynes (Wellington), Vivian Lau (One Tusk), Lauren Wolfe (Impactive Capital) and Leah Joy Zell (Lizard Investors).

Since this initiative was established, the number of women who attend the Invest For Kids conference has 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.

In addition to attending the conference, IFK arranges for students to have a unique session with a local legendary investor for a private lunch hosted by DePaul University’s Driehaus School of Business.

INCS

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

Invest For Kids proudly sponsors the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS), Charter 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 student of the year. Finalists and winners are recognized at an annual reception attended by elected officials, public charter school leaders and community supporters.

GIVES

In 2017, Gem Realty Capital (GEM) and Invest For Kids launched GIVES, a comprehensive School Support Plan for the benefit of a CPS elementary school.

In 2017, Gem Realty Capital (GEM) and Invest For Kids launched GIVES, a comprehensive School Support Plan for the benefit of a CPS elementary school.

Through the 2019 academic year, the recipient of this support was The Charles R. Henderson School in West Englewood, which has received assistance in the areas of academics, infrastructure and community engagement. Beginning in 2020, GIVES has transitioned its support to the Mollison Elementary School in the Bronzeville neighborhood and has set in place a similar support plan with concrete goals for progress and achievement. Invest For Kids will continue to support this venture by committing an additional $50,000 this year.