The Teen Fellows Program at CAF is a 2-year intensive program for Chicago Public Schools students interested in architecture, engineering, construction and urban planning.
As a capstone experience, CAF places these highly motivated teens in 4-6 week paid internships at some of Chicago’s top firms. This experience provides the students with firsthand experience in the field and access to professionals, while also better preparing them for college and their careers.
Here’s what some of the teens had to say about their internship experience this summer:
Benito Juarez Community Academy graduate
I was very eager when I heard that I had landed an awesome internship at such a prestigious firm. The experience has been great. I have been exploring the ins and out of architecture. I have met amazing and interesting people. Everyone has contributed to my growth this summer and helped prepare me for college. My favorite part about my internship has to be my coworkers, they make my experience much more interesting than I could have ever expected. It means a lot to have this opportunity through CAF. I have worked hard with the fellows and I can see that my work has paid off.
Curie Metro High School senior
For me to get this opportunity was simply unbelievable. It’s been great and I learn something new every day. SOM really makes me a part of the firm. They take me to meetings and lectures and I get to meet great role models in the field. I have learned there are so many ways to design and think about projects. SOM has taught me to think outside the box and showed me there are many fields within architecture that take part in the design process. CAF truly cares about the future of the city by giving young teens like me opportunities like these to learn and help our city grow.
Lindblom Math and Science Academy senior
I was so excited when I learned I would be interning at Ghafari Associates this summer. Just taking an engineering class at school wasn’t enough for me. I needed an experience that would confirm my desire to do this job and teach me what I need to know to work at a firm like Ghafari. The moment I stepped into the office, I knew I had a lot to learn. I did not know how to use the computer programs and I was not used to working for eight hours straight. The work was worth it and I felt like I was a part of something world changing. I have started noticing things I never thought about before, like the placement of manholes and why certain areas flood. Getting this opportunity through CAF means everything to me since it has opened a door to the civil engineering world for me.
Curie Metro High School senior
My favorite part of the internship would have to be all of it because it’s not every day someone, let alone a kid my age, gets an internship at a firm as big as Gensler. I learned how to use different computer programs such as InDesign, Rhino and Revit. I saw how business was conducted at meetings and how they dealt with problems in design. I went to multiple site visits and saw how the architect and construction worker communicated. The experience of being in such a professional atmosphere changed by mindset. I am now sure that this is what I want to do with the rest of my life. I am truly grateful to CAF.
Thank you to the following firms and organizations who sponsored our interns:
City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services
*Ghafari Associates, LLC
* HOK, Inc.
Holabird & Root
Illinois Arts Council Agency
Landon Bone Baker Architects
*Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, LLP
*Studio Gang Architects
*Valerio Dewalt Train Associates, Inc.
*Wheeler Kearns Architects
*CAF Corporate Partner Members