CHICAGO — 200 middle school and high school students gathered for the STEAM & Dream summit in Chicago on Saturday.
Saturday’s event, which took place on the Illinois Institute of Technology campus, was hosted by American Family Insurance and CHAMPS, a nonprofit that mentors youth.
Three friends from Milwaukee started the program in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to help support children to didn’t have access to laptops. Since then, STEAM and Dream summits have spread to other cities as program leaders aim to inspire the next generation of tech leaders.
“We want kids to know that there’s access. So it’s just basically opening up the door, to let them have access and knowing how to get into STEM careers, meet professionals that look like them and come from where they come from, is really the goal,” Kenge Adams, a STEAM and Dream co-founder said.
Those who attended the event got a special visit from Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and former Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte who spoke about overcoming obstacles in life.