Imani Excellent is true to her name.

The ambitious 18 year old Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy student graduated with an associate degree in computer science from Daley College in May of 2019, and just a month later earned her high school diploma.

Just a day before her high school graduation, Imani started at JPMorgan Chase as an apprentice. After going through multiple interviews, she was selected to participate in the apprenticeship program, which is part of a partnership between City Colleges of Chicago and Chase. Imani will work at Chase during the summer of 2019, after which she’ll start pursuing her bachelor’s degree at UIC. Her apprenticeship lasts one year, after which she might stay on with Chase.

With Imani being exposed to software engineering and coding while at Chase, she is undecided about what she will study in UIC, where she starts her junior year in the fall of 2019. “My plan was to study nursing or business at UIC, but if I enjoy my experience at Chase, that might change,” said Imani, who grew up and resides in the Ashburn neighborhood.

Imani started taking Early College classes at Daley during her sophomore year of high school. While at Daley, she joined Phi Theta Kappa, which is the honors society for two year colleges. Imani was a bit intimidated when she first entered City Colleges’ southwest side campus—she was much younger than her fellow students—but thanks to an encouraging support system that included classmates, faculty, and her mom and dad and siblings, she started to feel more comfortable. Now, she is confident and prepared for her very bright future, which includes plans to graduate from UIC in the spring of 2021.

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