What is the Seneca Foundation?
The Seneca Foundation is on a mission to educate, empower, and equip Black and Latinx recent Chicagoland high school graduates with paid Software Development training, paid internship work, college financial assistance toward a STEM degree, and resources that will positively impact their professional and financial trajectory for years and generations to come.
Who should apply?
Seneca Foundation’s mission is to support student populations who are historically underrepresented in STEM degree programs and careers. To offset the inequities that these groups face we have thoughtfully created a unique program that combines skill development, financial assistance, mentoring, and “real work in the real world” experience. We know that it would be easy to only focus on the “A” students, but we want to focus on all students that have a passion for and commitment to STEM. Therefore, there is not a G.P.A. requirement for our program.
Requirements for our 2021 cohort are:
- Black or Latinx
- Exhibits a passion for STEM
- Must graduate high school in 2021
- Ability to legally work in the U.S., including DACA participants
- Resident of the Chicagoland area, and able to commute to the Vail offices in downtown Chicago (currently remote to ensure adherence to COVID-19 guidelines)
- Completed application and letter of recommendation
- If accepted, a signed commitment to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field
What’s included in the program?
Our (1) year program includes the following benefits and offers two different paths to meet the applicant’s individual needs. In both options, participants will gain skills, experience, and knowledge that will prepare them for the pursuit of a college degree and fulfilling career in a STEM field.
- 6 months of paid prerequisite training in software development and devops
- 6 months of paid project work via an internship with Vail Systems
- Flexible hours to accommodate college schedules
- Mentoring and professional/social support
- Educational workshops
- College financial support
- Performance-based opportunity to continue working at Vail during or after completion of a STEM degree
- Students can take a Gap Year before college and work for Vail full-time (30-40 hours / week) during that year. Program participants who choose this path will receive support with the college application process.
- Attend college part-time in the Chicagoland area after graduating high school and work for Vail full-time, while pursuing their college degree part-time.
The program pays $18/hour for up to 40 hours/week and offers a flexible schedule, but our current cohort says the best part of this program is the chance to do real work in the real world so soon after high school.
What’s the timeline?
November 1, 2020: Application available
November 11, 2020: First info session
February 1, 2021: Application deadline
April 5, 2021: Acceptance Letters are sent
April 16, 2021: Acceptance response is due
July 6, 2021: Program starts
Why are you doing this?
The Tech Industry, the industry that has created the most wealth in the last decade, has failed to increase their representation of Black and Latinx professionals. This is unacceptable.
We are committed to supporting talented young adults on their journey to a fulfilling career in a STEM field. We started with our first cohort of 5 young professionals in 2020 and are proud to expand this program in 2021 and beyond.
What if I want more information?
Register for one of our upcoming Info Sessions!