Stephanie DeLeon didn’t plan on learning about an opportunity that would change her life while working at Starbucks, but that’s exactly what happened.

Stephanie grew up in Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood on the southwest side and graduated from Kelly High School in 2016. She went off to college but needed to return home after only a semester because of financial issues. Back in Chicago and out of school, the 20 year old first-generation college student focused on helping her family and working, which meant going back to the job she had before she left at the Aon Center Starbucks. It was there that she heard about Aon’s apprenticeship program from a regular customer who wondered why Stephanie was back from college so soon.

Stephanie now works on Aon’s global team as an apprentice, and is currently working on planning a large industry event in North Carolina, which she’ll attend later in the fall.

As part of the apprenticeship program, Stephanie started at Harold Washington College (HWC) in the spring of 2018, and she has already benefited from the experience. She was a bit rusty when it came to classwork and homework, so Stephanie took full advantage of all HWC has to offer—writing help so her essays were stronger and so she’d know how to write a business email, tutoring and advising. Stephanie also appreciates the attention the faculty and staff give to the students, as well as the many extra credit opportunities.

After completing her associate degree from HWC in a couple of years, Stephanie aims to continue working at Aon and transfer to a four-year institution in Chicago.

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