PMA meets Chicago’s Ideas Week

Josseline Manzanares

iMentor’s coordinator Ms. Arauz had a great idea this past school year. Seniors Gilberto Ortiz, Omar Perez, Cristian Duarte, Jennifer Salgado, and Luzmarie Bond are all Ambassadors for Chicago Ideas Week. They became ambassadors due to their completion of CIW their junior year. Now they will be in charge of leading this year’s activities at different events.

Chicago Ideas Week is a program where CPS students meet at events to learn about networking, social justice issues, and get to experience “behind the scenes” moments with many different famous speakers or authors. They meet in  many different public places, like the SHEDD Aquarium, Labs,etc.

“My favorite event was the kickoff, the first event of the program. At the Kickoff there’s a huge city-wide event where you meet people all across the city, you network, there’s a lot of engaging activities throughout that evening too. Plus there was a ton of food,” said Bond.

Since this was their first time participating in a program like this, they all learned many different things. They enjoyed doing activities that they had never thought of doing. They also got exposure to new viewpoints on different issues going on around them.   The students met new people who like them, come from the CPS schools where not many programs like this are offered. They worked in groups which really gave them the chance to interact.

“I got to improve a lot of skills, one of them being public speaking and also not being shy to talk to new people. So I got a good experience from it and got new skills as well. Overall CIW really did help me in becoming a better person,” said Duarte.

This year Bond became an intern for CIW this summer. She really learned a lot through this experience. She did a lot of the tasks that a person working for CIW would do on a daily basis, like planning events.

“When I was an intern, I felt like I was actually making a difference in the company. I had to attend the meetings with the team and go listen in, and engage in phone calls for this year’s CIW Event. I was going to different companies and seeing what they did and how they got there,” said Bond.

And her fellow ambassadors don’t plan on leaving Bond alone, they were right behind her trying to expand  this program at school. Their main focus is recruiting juniors.

“Well what I plan on doing is helping out Luz (another youth ambassador) on a plan that she has so CIW can interact with the students in our school and maybe even get them to join or participate in Chicago’s Idea Week,” said Duarte.