Author: Lumity

The art of running a company is usually mastered on the fly by entrepreneurs who’ve cut their teeth in the workforce. But on Chicago’s north side, three groups of teenagers are managing their own high-tech businesses. The Rogers Park Webcreators — 16 students who speak 10 different languages between them — have taken on real-world clients, learned to use design tools and built professional websites. And they’ve earned money doing it. It’s all part of a program created by Chicago nonprofit Lumity. The 32-year-old organization’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Career Readiness Program spearheads a variety of initiatives for at-risk youth in the Chicago area. For the Rogers Park Webcreators, Lumity created a seven-hour-a-week program that paid students $10/hour to build websites for local clients. “It was key to get some funders for the program so we could pay the students. We wanted it to be a real job, not just an after-school club,” says Lumity’s Director of Career Readiness Jack Stonebraker. “This was the first job for most of these kids. Only two had ever worked anywhere before. Now, when they get their next jobs, they’ll be in a better position to go in the first day and start work.”

On Saturday, May 21, 14 students and over 30 volunteers gathered for the Lumity 1-Day Innovation Challenge. The event was held at the offices of event sponsor Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), a division of BlueCross BlueShield Illinois. The event's purpose was to demonstrate how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills are applied in career settings. Participating students attend Chicago Vocational Career Academy or Corliss High School and are enrolled in STEM-related learning programs.

[caption id="attachment_720" align="alignleft" width="300"] A CVCA student experiments with an Oculus virtual reality headset.[/caption] Lumity, a Chicago nonprofit organization focused on career readiness, aims to help its corporate partners give back to the community. One of their partners, Accenture, hosted a Career Site Visit for students...

Student Web Creators to Unveil Websites Created for Local Businesses On Saturday, June 4, Chicago-based Lumity presents the inaugural “2016 SBE Competition,” an event that is a culmination of the efforts of local business partners and some newly tech-savvy teenage entrepreneurs, which reveals the valuable impact of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) training with some fascinating results.

By Etelka Lehoczky At Amundsen High School on Chicago’s North Side, there are a few things no student is ever without: jeans worn with just the right attitude; a bulging backpack; and, the most important item of all – a cell phone. The importance of phones in teens’ lives inspired a unique exercise at Amundsen on a recent day in May. The challenge: Design a smartphone app. Divided into groups of 4-6, students sought to envision apps and plan ways to develop them.blue-shirts Guiding the teens were volunteers from global IT firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). How did a multinational company with over 350,000 employees come into the lives of kids at a neighborhood high school? It’s thanks to Chicago-area nonprofit Lumity.

By Etelka Lehoczky At first it may seem like an ordinary April day at Waukegan’s Greenbelt Cultural Center, just outside of Chicago, but in the big ballroom the air is humming. At tables all around the room, small groups of teenagers are hard at work – murmuring, laughing and capturing ideas on laptops.” [caption id="attachment_695" align="alignright" width="300"]Forsythe staff team up with Waukegan High School students to build business case for a mock smartphone app. Forsythe staff team up with Waukegan High School students to build business case for a mock smartphone app.[/caption] The teens have been brought together thanks to a complex partnership – and some creative thinking – by three innovative Chicago organizations. The kids attend Waukegan High School, a culturally diverse institution with more than 4,000 students. They’re being aided by employees of Forsythe Technology, Inc., a privately held, employee-owned company based in Skokie, Ill. Then there’s the fulcrum: Chicago-area nonprofit Lumity, which organized the event as part of its STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Career Readiness Program. After 32 years in operation, Lumity is shifting its mission to focus on providing transformational experiences for at-risk youth that prepare them for lifelong STEM careers. The exercise today is to conceive and create a business case for a mock smartphone app. As the teens work through their designs they must think creatively, assess one another’s ideas and hone their presentation skills. And they’re clearly having a great time doing it.