Mercy Home’s Summer Enrichment Program and Summer Career Institute celebrated a summer of learning and development, as participants presented their final projects at the Education & Career Resources Summer Showcase last week at the West Loop Campus.

Liz Kuhn Tomka, Vice President of Education & Career Resources, welcomed everyone before thanking tutors, board members, and youth program helpers who made the 10th annual Summer Enrichment Program a success.

Groups of young men from the Summer Enrichment Program, for kids in middle school and high school who are too young for internships or summer jobs, kicked off the showcase by presenting projects on the program’s theme “The Environment and Me.” Groups shared what they learned about soil, water, gardens, pollution, and environmental justice.

Summer enrichment program group

Katelyn Dollard, Director of Post-Secondary Options, then spoke about the Summer Career Institute, now in its second year for young people not eligible for employment outside of Mercy Home. Four young men accompanied her to describe their favorite career-focused field trips of the summer.

“Every career matters, and at the end of the day, we all come together to make a great community.”

Nick, from Campbell Home, said his favorite trip was to ABC7 News, where he and his peers learned about broadcast news production while talking with news anchors and producers on set.

“Visiting ABC7 News was great. I learned so much,” he said. “Every career matters, and at the end of the day, we all come together to make a great community.”

Wayland, from Bosco Home, said he like visiting the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls.

“I learned about different jobs, on and off the court, with the Bulls,” he said. “I also learned that with opportunity comes achievement.”

Next, more young men from the Summer Career Institute followed with individual presentations. In tune with the program’s theme of exploring various professions and entrepreneurship, projects ranged from overviews of careers fields to business plans, and clothing lines to new inventions.

“I learned about different jobs, on and off the court, with the Bulls…I also learned that with opportunity comes achievement.”

CTA presentationFor example, Peter, from Bosco Home, who one day wants to be a rail operator, gave a riveting presentation on his fascination with trains and the Chicago Transit Authority, while Wonyell, from Daley Home, detailed his vision and marketing plan for an ingenious two-sided toothbrush.

The summer showcase concluded with achievement awards and ice cream treats.

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