It’s Back-to-School season here in Chicago and as class goes into session, we would like to reflect on one of the best parts of our summer, our incredible 2019 Summer Leaders.

The Pattis Family Foundation Summer Leadership Program (SLP) is Women Employed’s annual summer internship program, generously sponsored by The Pattis Family Foundation. The SLP provides a unique opportunity for interns to learn about all aspects of non-profit work while also gaining professional skills and practical experience, as well as leadership training, front-line research, hands-on work on a variety of projects, and the opportunity to connect with working people to learn first-hand about the barriers they experience.

This year, we welcomed a diverse group of 10 soon-to-be and recent college graduates to become familiar with the history and future of the women’s movement, participate in professional development workshops on effective advocacy, learn about nonprofit organizational development and communications, and explore aspects of social justice work with guest speakers. They even got to meet and take a picture with Governor J.B Pritzker, after standing with him as he signed the No Salary History bill into law. Some were even interviewed on camera for local Spanish-language news networks!

Here’s what the Summer Leaders had to say about their experience, “Among many other things, we grew far beyond our own expectations in professionalism, interpersonal relationship building, and our own attitudes towards our personal life journeys.”