Summer Links 2017 Employer Information

Click HERE to access the Summer Links 2017 Employer Application. Please print it out, complete all questions, and email in MS-Word format to

Deadline: February 20, 2017, 11:59PM CST.

Employer Participation Overview

Launched in 1997 by then-Director Michelle Obama, Summer Links is a 10-week (6/26/17-9/1/17) social justice education and internship program for a cohort of undergraduate students committed to public service, community-building, and social change. Students receive a $4,000 stipend. 

Summer Links internship employers are valued partners of the University of Chicago: they allows students entry into their workplaces and efforts to improve society through substantive internships; they mentor students and encourage their professional and personal development; and they provide valuable feedback to their interns about performance, information about future opportunities, and introduce them to other staff and partners. Employers who work with the Summer Links program can be from any field, profession, or organizational structure so long as they satisfy a few simple requirements:

  • Employers must be able to provide a substantive internship experience
  • Employers must have a static office or building for students to work each day
  • Employers must have a mission that advances or engages issues of social change, but does not have to be a traditional nonprofit. Past partners include CSR departments, social enterprises, start-ups, community associations and Chambers of Commerce, nonprofits, foundations, government agencies, law firms, art companies, and more.
  • Employers must agree to complete the end-of-program survey, as well as attend a brief meeting both at the start and end of the program.

The program begins with an Immersion Week (students are not with their employer during this week) where students meet daily to learn about and discuss a range of topics including community and identity, Chicago history, race and segregation, leadership, and Chicago neighborhoods. They meet with UChicago and community leaders, local residents, and each other to unpack the data, stories, histories, and considerations that inform and influence the social issues of the city. For the remaining 9 weeks, participants work at their individual internship host organizations Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  

The entire Summer Links cohort will come together at UCSC every Wednesday evening, 6-8 p.m., during the 10-week program to share internship reflections and participate in group discussions about social issues. Employers are encouraged to be flexible with their students’ Wednesday schedule to ensure they can travel back to the University by 6pm.  Additionally, the cohort will meet off-campus each Friday from 9:00a.m.-5 p.m. for Summer Links sessions designed to broaden understanding of Chicago and social justice issues.  These "Focus Fridays" will cover topics such as immigration, urban planning, institutional racism, housing, education, LGBTQ issues, economic empowerment, and the social determinants of health. Focus Fridays will include activities such as site visits, community explorations, panel discussions, artistic and cultural events, and group discussions. We strongly encourage employers to consider allowing us to meet with, and at, their company to expose the entire cohort to their efforts to improve society.

Through Summer Links, students will become more informed about Chicago and methods of effecting social change, including direct service, research and evaluation, advocacy and activism, community organizing, public policy, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, and philanthropy.

Program Goals

  • To deepen students’ knowledge of the social justice issues that impact Chicago communities
  • To broaden students’ experience of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods
  • To provide students with exposure to a wider variety of approaches to social justice work

Students apply to be a part of the Summer Links program—they are not applying to a specific internship position or organization.  Students are matched through an interview process with internships at nonprofits, social enterprises, government agencies, and businesses with corporate social responsibility units after their acceptance to the program. Click here for examples of internship host sites and projects.

Students come from a wide variety of majors, experiences, backgrounds, and concerns. As with most UChicago students, they are all vetted to discern their ability to persist through rigorous intellectual environments, meet standards of professionalism and presentation, and have social abilities commensurate with the needs of a diverse and changing world.

Application: Click HERE to access the Summer Links 2017 Employer Application. Once you have printed and completed the application, email the final copy in MS-Word format to Xavier Ramey, Summer Links Director,

Deadline: 11:59PM, Monday, February 20, 2017

Questions: Contact UCSC Senior Assistant Director for Social Innovation and Philanthropy, Xavier Ramey. or 773-834-6227