SCHOLARS "FIND THEIR FUTURE"
IN PROFESSIONAL INTERNSHIPS
employers celebrate achievement
of 30 college students as program completes
its second year
Aug. 10, 2006 - Leading Chicago-area employers joined Department of Children and
Family Services Director Bryan Samuels tonight to acknowledge and celebrate the
achievement of 30 college students in DCFS care who have just completed intensive,
summer-long paid internships in their field of professional interest. In a closing
reception held at the Mid-America Club in Chicago's Aon Building, Director Samuels
and representatives from some of Chicago's top law firms, businesses and public
agencies congratulated these college interns and encouraged them to build on this
experience as they complete their education and begin their careers.
students looking to begin a career need focus, dedication and education. They
also need contacts to help them find their first on-the-job experience through
internships or entry-level positions. For many, family and friends provide a ready-made
network to help them get started, but not all college students have such built-in
advantages. Find Your Future, now completing its second year, brings those advantages
to youth in DCFS care. Interns were selected from applicants attending public
and private colleges across the country, and matched with leading private and
public sector employers in each student's area of interest. These Chicago-area
employers help to provide DCFS youth with the knowledge, contacts and introductions
critical to launching their careers.
youth bring a resilience and fortitude to the workplace that is welcomed and appreciated
by today's employers," said DCFS Director Bryan Samuels. "Offering top-quality,
career-oriented internships and jobs is one of the best ways the community can
support DCFS as we work to meet the needs of older youth preparing for adulthood.
We'd like to thank this year's employers and strongly urge more Illinois companies
to participate by underwriting a stipend or hiring a youth in future years."
and Strawn, LLP is a returning employer to the "Find Your Future" internship
program, hiring 5 students last summer, and 2 new students and one returning intern
this summer. "Getting involved in the Find Your Future internship program
is a win-win for Winston and Strawn, LLP," according to former Governor James
R. Thompson, Chairman. "We get promising young pre-law students who bring
a fresh, vital diversity to our workplace and the young people learn about the
law from a practical standpoint - something that will add to their appreciation
of their studies and their long-term success."
-- More --
Gray, a social work major at University of Illinois at Springfield, was matched
with Voices for Illinois Children, a statewide advocacy organization promoting
strategies to improve conditions for children in our state. "Working at Voices
for Illinois Children this summer gave me the chance to use my voice and be heard
as a former foster youth. My experiences gave me insight into the way policies
are shaped - and the positive benefits of collaboration between private individuals
and government. I couldn't have asked for a better summer."
Director Samuels said DCFS interns attend colleges including University of Illinois,
Illinois State University, Northern Illinois University, Eastern Illinois University,
Southern Illinois University, Northeastern University, Richard J. Daley College
and Chicago State University. Students maintaining a full-time schedule and "C"
average receive financial assistance and access to medical care. DCFS Find Your
Future students are studying professional fields such as law, health care, social
work, education, communications, biology and engineering.
participating in Find Your Future for 2006 included Winston & Strawn LLP,
Voices for Illinois Children, Laner Muchin LLP, U.S. Senator Richard Durbin, Lawrence
Hall Youth Services, WTTW-Channel 11, Monsanto, LaRabida Children's Hospital,
University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital, Mercy Home for Boys and Girls,
Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, Chicago Police Department, City
of Chicago Departments of Public Health and the Environment, Regional Transportation
Authority, Illinois Housing Development Authority, and State of Illinois Departments
of Children and Family Services and Human Services.
Your Future is part of a "lifetime approach" DCFS has introduced to
provide better services for children and youth in state care, and to support the
transition of older youth to a successful and productive adulthood. Supports for
youth in the transition to adulthood include Find Your Future, Youth in College,
Youth in Scholarship and the Employment Incentive Program.
who want to know more about the program or participate in Find Your Future can
contact Sujata Bhat in the DCFS director's office, 312-814-6831, or e-mail her
Kendall Marlowe, DCFS
Delores Robinson, DCFS 312-814-6847