Mentorship & Workforce Development Programs

Mentorship and Workforce Development's (MWD) flagship program, Discovering Healthcare Careers, was launched in 2001. Today, MWD offers 11 different exciting programs for students that focus on a variety of topics in healthcare, such as shadowing opportunities, nursing, public health, research and much more.

For elementary and high school programming, we currently only work with Chicago Public Schools and the Noble Charter Network. Explore our programs below to learn more about eligibility and the application process. 

Explore Our Programs

Below is a list of our programs, with information about eligibility and the application process. If you have questions about any of these opportunities or would like to get involved, please reach out to us at

About YES! 

YES! is an interactive program that provides CPS middle school students healthcare career exposure and helps them develop beginner soft skills for the workplace. Students are recruited in partnership with their school. The program's sessions include diverse healthcare professional speakers, hands-on activities and opportunities to learn about our other MWD programming that they may be eligible for in the future. 

Who is eligible for YES! ?

  • Middle school students at CPS who have been selected by their school's administration are eligible to to participate in the program.
  • School partnerships are determined by our team. 

About Shades for the Future

Shades for the Future is a 6-week virtual workforce development readiness program for freshmen and sophomores. Through the program, students engage in a series featuring healthcare professional speakers, mental health sessions and workforce development workshops.

Who is eligible for Shades for the Future?

  • Students who are a part of the CPS high schools, public charter schools, and Noble Schools public charter network
  • Shades is a virtual program and does not have an age requirement. 


About Junior M.E.D.

Junior M.E.D. is an 11-week program that places high school students attending our partner school, Noble Charter ITW David Speer Academy, in a department at Lurie Children's. Students are able to shadow and take on individual projects. Students are required to use the knowledge they learned from their internship to design and develop a final product and present it to their high school and other stakeholders.

Who is eligible for Junior M.E.D.?

  • High school senior at ITW David Speer Academy in good academic standing. Students should work with the school's internship coordinator to apply. 
  • Students must be at least 17 years old by the program start date.


About Discovering Healthcare Careers (DHC)

DHC is a six-week paid clinical summer internship for high school students who are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. Students are provided with workforce development workshops, including resume writing, team building, professional development and basic clinical skills.

Who is eligible for DHC?

  • Students at CPS, the Noble Network of Charter Schools, or public charter schools.
  • Students are required to be at least 17 years old by the program start date

Check out a recap of our 2023 DHC Summer Program!

About One Summer Chicago (OSC)

Join us in participating in the OSC internship in partnership with CTE/CPS. This summer opportunity provides participants with the opportunity to take on a paid, entry-level job at Lure Children's while also participating in a variety of learning sessions including workforce development and mental health workshops.

Who is eligible for OSC?

  • Students at CPS high schools or the Noble Charter Network
  • Students must be 17 years old by the program start date 
  • Work authorization is required
  • Minimum GPA of a 2.75 is required


EMPOWER is a 6-week paid internship for young adults with minor or chronic disabilities. Students are provided with workforce development workshops and are placed in non-clinical entry-level positions. 

Who is eligible for EMPOWER?

  • Students who have a minor/chronic disability/illness
  • Students must be 17 years old by the program start date



About Higher Educational Readiness Opportunities (HERO)

HERO is a paid clinical shadowing internship for students attending Arrupe College of Loyola who are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. Students will be able to build their professional networks and meet student peers and guest presenters from across the institution. Students will be provided with workforce development workshops, mental health/self care training, and job readiness skills. A Fellowship Award will be provided to students upon completion.

Who is eligible for HERO?

  • Only students who are currently enrolled at Arrupe College of Loyola are eligible
  • Students must be in good academic standing and have a demonstrated interest in a healthcare career
  • Students must be at least 17 years old by the program start date. 

About Community Health in Action Mentorship Program (CHAMP)

CHAMP is a 6-week program focused on building public health and community health skills through experience in the different domains of Lurie Children’s model of CARE (Clinical care, Advocacy, Research and Education). Students have independent public health projects and will also participate in workshops focused on topics such as conducting literature reviews, data analysis and visualization, and resume building.

Who is eligible?

  • Students who are currently enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at a college or university and have an interest in the field of public health
  • Students must be at least 17 years old by the program start date

About Senior M.E.D.

Developed in partnership with the Noble Alumni Association, this 2-week program provides Noble Network alumni and Undergraduate/Graduate students with exposure to healthcare careers with and the opportunity to hone their  research skills.

Who is eligible for Senior M.E.D.?

  • Students who are selected by the Noble Alumni Association

About Inspire2

Inspire2 provides nursing students with the opportunity to interact with experienced pediatric nursing professionals to help ensure their success in the classroom and beyond.

Who is eligible for Inspire2?

  • Students must be currently enrolled in an accredited nursing school
  • Students must be able to travel to attend in-person sessions throughout the school year
  • Students must be at least 17 years old by the program start date

About MWD Alumni Opportunities

MWD alumni, including current Lurie Children's employees who are alumni, are eligible to participate in a number of skill enhancement and certification programs, including:

  • EEG Technician Certification
  • Sleep Technician Certification 
  • Medical Assistant Certification
  • Nursing Assistant Certification

If you're interested in learning more about these opportunities, please reach out to