The SPR Difference
As the foundation of SPR’s civic engagement efforts, we champion diversity and inclusion by training, mentoring, and employing talented technology professionals of all genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds. We are also committed to bringing technology to young people that may not otherwise have the opportunity, including youth with disabilities and youth from challenged socioeconomic backgrounds.
A Shared Passion for Learning
Young people today have countless interests – but for those who face challenges such as a disability or a differing socioeconomic level, options to explore these interests become more limited. At SPR, we focus our civic engagement efforts on giving youth access to technology for both academic and career growth. Youth have a thirst for knowledge – one of our core values, coincidentally. Melding our philanthropic roots with our drive to learn, we are developing deeper and more strategic relationships with groups to provide learning opportunities for youth.
From Starting to Explore…
We don’t want youth to simply see or hear about technology – we want them to touch it, write it, design it, build it! Our goal is to kickstart the daydreaming. When kids leave our office visualizing themselves succeeding in this industry, we know we’ve done our jobs. From building fidget spinners, to writing their first lines of code, to 3D printing a racecar – students see that SPR has fun with technology, and they can too.
…To Starting a Career
We know the best way to learn is to do – that makes on-the-job training a big part of our culture at SPR. In addition to summer internships, there’s almost always an early-in-career student working alongside us throughout the year. By partnering with programs such as Year Up, ITKAN, Step Up, Chicago Jobs Council, and Equal Access, we create opportunities for all students to engage with cutting edge technologies.
We're happy to collaborate with a few partner organizations in the Chicago area.
Year Up Chicago
Providing urban young adults with the skills, experience and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.
A collaboration to create career opportunities for skilled IT professionals with disabilities.
A national nonprofit that propels girls from under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential.
Leading the Way
SPR’s Director of Civic Engagement, Pat Maher, continues a personal and company initiative that fosters and develops key civic partnerships. Pat leads SPR’s efforts to support the technical and professional growth of youth and other displaced populations historically overlooked and undervalued.