Summer volunteer work always fills up gaps in a resume. But for Chicagoans ages 14 to 24, this summer they may be able to fill up a resume with one of 24,000 paid summer jobs or internship in the One Summer Chicago program. According to the City of Chicago site, nearly 75,000 youth have been able to benefit from the seasonal job program since the launch date in 2011. This year’s deadline to apply is May 15.
Mayor Emanuel also announced earlier this year that Inner City Youth Empowerment, LLC would donate $10 million over two years to expand One Summer Chicago Plus. Inner City Youth Empowerment, LLC is a private entity formed by Earvin “Magic” Johnson, along with Mark and Kimbra Walter. The program will expand to serve 2,000 youth in 2015 and 3,000 youth in 2016.
For job seekers looking to expand their resume who may be out of the age range of the programs above, there are also plenty of volunteering opportunities for youth. This is especially important for aspiring educators. A few volunteering organizations in the Chicagoland area include Y.O.U., Illinois Mentoring Partnership, 100 Black Men of Chicago Inc., and Chicago Scholars.
The City of Chicago site also has listings for volunteer opportunities ranging from mayor’s office, fire department and human resources to legal internships. While it may initially seem counterproductive to look at volunteer opportunities when paid employment is needed, Forbes, Monster and U.S. News & World Report all confirm how volunteering can not only expand a person’s experience in a particular field but may give hiring managers a front-row seat at how a potential employee would do on the job.
Darcel Rockett, Digital News Editor of the Chicago Tribune, also co-signs volunteerism. During a CBS interview last year, she stated, “I recommend doing as many internships, apprenticeships or shadowing opportunities as possible. This will allow you the chance to see what tools and skills are utilized daily and perhaps help you focus on what specialty you want to center on.”
Naveed Usman, President and CEO of digital design agency Usman Group, views volunteering as an opportunity to not just find any job, but the right job.
According to a recent CBS interview with the hiring manager, “The internship allows this person to open their options to other companies and not just select the one that seems to be the most attractive.”
Shamontiel L. Vaughn is a professional journalist who has work featured in AXS, Yahoo!, Chicago Defender and Chicago Tribune. She’s been an Examiner since 2009 and currently writes about 10 categories on Examiner.com.