First Power Lunch of 2017: Using Technology to Solve Real-World Problems

January 12— Chicago Tech Academy rounded out the first week of school in 2017 with inspirational guest speakers.

This was the first of several planned in 2017 our Power Lunch Series, which connects ChiTech students with industry professionals who offer guidance and inspiration in STEM. We were joined by Beth Bond, the founder of ForGoods, a mobile app that rewards users for engaging with their communities, and Caren Young, a product manager for Pivotal Labs, a software development firm.

Bond led a vivacious discussion with 11 students about how technology can be used for good to solve everyday problems.

“We have incredible access to education these days. We have a responsibility to learn as much as possible and share it with others,” she said.

This innovative spirit carried into Caren Young’s talk. Students learned about Young’s career in product development. She encouraged the students to pursue their own paths to success.

To learn more about our Power Lunch Series, click here, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for updates about our next speakers.



Beth Bond

“Doing More Good.”

Raised in a military family of nine, Beth has first-hand experience of the power of service, innovation and collaboration as key drivers of positive change.

Working with her first startup at the age of 19, Beth has spent the past decade building systems for nonprofits and businesses to engage communities around a cause. As a social entrepreneur, she sees incredible value in the insights and inspiration she gets through volunteering in the community.

Beth is Founder of ForGoods, a mobile app that tracks and rewards users for shopping local, volunteering and civic engagement. Like frequent flier miles — for people who do good. She also runs Community Startups, an incubator and accelerator program for CPS youth.



Caren Young

“If I can do it, so can you!”

Caren Young is a Product Manager for Pivotal Labs where she helps organizations, such as Ford and Allstate, learn to build the right products for their customers. She is passionate about research and asking the right questions to get results.

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she spent 6 years in Seattle working for advertising agencies and as a vendor for Microsoft before heading to Chicago, where she continued to lead teams in creating digital products from healthcare marketing tools to a distributed speaker system.

Caren is also deeply committed to showing young people that tech is not just coding. Technology is open and available to so many people including careers in design, QA, product and so much more

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