Reflections from Stand UP Chicago

Howdy readers! Chicago has been amazing so far as we explore the city, learn, volunteer, and make new friends along the way. Day one began once everyone got to the hotel. We were first introduced to our soon to be friends through an icebreaker where we told our “life story” in thirty seconds. After learning names we had our first lesson through a program named NFTE. NFTE is a program, normally given through school, that teaches teens what entrepreneurship is and how we can make a business. We finished off the day with a Chicago classic: deep dish pizza at Lou Malnatis.

Day two started with a bang! We went to a local park and worked out with Movement Transforms. They taught us how to think positivity and the importance of movement in our life. Movement Transforms is a company started by Ed Valdez who was able to talk to us about entrepreneurship. This put a real life perspective on what we have been learning though NFTE. After the workout we walked to the Northwestern Hillel where we got a private tour of the college campus with the the Hillel director, Michael Simon. Later that day we talked to the very impressive Brian Parks. He started his own company called Nabee Socks while still managing to have free time to explore the world and other careers. We finished the day off with dinner and volunteering at The Ark, a Jewish nonprofit.

On day three we went to Sketchpad, a Jewish nonprofit collaborative workplace. We talked to the creator of Sketchpad and two other entrepreneurs in the workplace. After that we had a blast at the beach! We swam, listened to music, tossed a football, and of course, tanned. After the beach we headed to a huge business building right in the city and met with two NFTE alumni and were able to ask them all the questions about the program we had.

The trip has been so much fun so far and I can’t wait to explore more of Chicago!
-Sophie (participant)

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