When Ayinde Hill was growing up on the South West Side of Chicago, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do after high school. Once he graduated from Lindblom Math and Science Academy, he went to Coe College in Iowa on a swimming scholarship. Deciding it wasn’t a good fit, he came back to Chicago after a year.

After having a job at MapsCorps doing data collection and research for a semester, he found Harold Washington College and started classes in January of 2016. He also worked with the nonprofit organization Black Oaks, which is dedicated to providing sustainability and healthy nutritional resources for food desert locations in the Chicagoland area.

That fall, his mom heard about YearUp and encouraged him to look into it. Learning that YearUp would not only pay his tuition at Harold Washington, but also set him up with an internship, Ayinde decided to go for it.

His internship was at Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine as a research administrator, putting together documents and managing day-to-day administrative tasks so scientists could focus on their research. His internship lasted from January to July of 2019, at which point he was hired on full-time as a program assistant. So far, he says, it’s going well.

“I know I will go back to finish my degree, but I’m taking this time to figure out what exactly I want to study,” Ayinde explains.

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