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Corporate and Community Partners



Through Polished Pebbles’ partnership with the national non-profit organization, Mentoring USA, the girls of Polished Pebbles are able to participate in the Brown Bag Apprenticeship Program. This career-oriented mentoring program provides opportunities for Bloomingdale’s Chicago employees to mentor young ladies at three of our after-school programs. Polished Pebbles are able to tour the stores and learn about the inner workings of the retail industry and participate in job shadow days that allow them to put their communication skills to practice in the workplace.


Through our Nordstrom Apprenticeship Experience, Polished Pebbles can participate in a job shadow experience at the Nordstrom’s Department Store in downtown Chicago. The girls have a tour of the store, visiting various departments and acquiring knowledge about the clothing designers. During the job shadow experience, Nordstrom staff members mentor the girls, allowing them to function as an assistant staff member, helping customers with merchandise selection and other duties as assigned.

Microsoft Store

Partnering with the Microsoft Store gives girls the opportunity to enhance their product knowledge and prepare their own marketing presentations. The girls are also able to tour the Microsoft store, learn about various technology offerings, meet Microsoft employees and learn about how the employees’ career paths led them to work for Microsoft.


Mentors from ThoughtWorks, a software company, expose Polished Pebbles to different types of careers available to them in the technology industry. Polished Pebbles visit the ThoughtWorks office in downtown Chicago to learn about business solutions offered through ThoughtWorks, as well as about consulting for organizations all around the world.

Illinois Institute of Technology

Polished Pebbles’ technology focused program for girls ages 7-17 introduces girls to career options in the technology industry. Mentors from IIT also guide and educate Polished Pebbles on technology they can use to communicate with friends from Johannesburg, South Africa in the Polished Pebbles South African Virtual Exchange Program. Through this partnership, the girls at Polished Pebbles are given the opportunity to express themselves, expand their world-views and gain digital literacy skills that will effectively prepare them for potential careers in technology.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

Polished Pebbles’ partnership with BCBS gives girls an insight into the healthcare industry, as they learn from mentors who are employees of BCBS. Polished Pebbles are able to learn about their mentors’ career paths, current job duties, BCBS’ services/products and discuss the communication skills needed to be successful as a woman in today's healthcare industry.

Chicago Sky

Mentors from Chicago Sky include athletes, coaches and the management team. Polished Pebbles learn about the business of sports management and the different types of careers one can pursue in athletics. Girls also visit the WNBA Team Chicago Sky’s Headquarters to learn from their mentors.

University of Chicago Charter Schools

Polished Pebbles has sites at four UChicago Charter campuses, including Woodlawn Campus Middle School, Woodlawn Campus High School, North Kenwood/Oakland Campus and Donoghue Campus. Girls from these campuses participate in after-school programs, where local community members as well as employees from partnering businesses visit their schools to mentor them. Students also participate in job-shadow field trips to partnering businesses.

Chicago Public Schools

Polished Pebbles partners with CPS to serve a wide range of female students attending CPS schools. Polished Pebbles works with students from CPS campuses that include Harlan Community Academy High School, Alex Haley Elementary Academy and Spencer Elementary Technology Academy.

Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools works with public middle schools in low-income communities to provide students with longer learning days and more opportunities to achieve. Citizen Schools connects the resources of communities, companies, governments and philanthropies to put their students on track to succeed. Polished Pebbles and Citizen Schools have partnered together to provide even greater learning opportunities to the students from Carter Elementary in Washington Park and Woodson Elementary in Bronzeville.

Chicago International Charter School

Polished Pebbles mentors female high school students through Chicago International Charter School campuses. Polished Pebbles conducted a series of “Dress for Success” workshops for all of CICS’ high school campuses. The workshop prepared the girls for professional mentoring relationships with employees at Accenture, a management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.

Chicago State University

Polished Pebbles has partnered with the local university, Chicago State University, to provide young female students with insight on the college experience. Polished Pebbles go on campus tours at Chicago State, as well as participate in job showing activities on campus.

Community Programs Accelerator at the University of Chicago

As of 2014, the world-renowned institution, the University of Chicago, has endorsed Polished Pebbles. Polished Pebbles was one of four nonprofits selected for the inaugural cohort of the Community Programs Accelerator at the University, which provides Polished Pebbles with funding support, resources, professional assessments and technical assistance to bring their impact with girls to scale in Chicago and across the country.

Chicago Housing Authority

Polished Pebbles has sites for after-school programs in conjunction with CHA. Girls from local communities are able to get together to learn how to express themselves and communicate positively with one another and their mentors. 6th-8th grade girls from Chicago Housing Authority’s Dearborn Homes in the Bronzeville community also participate in Polished Pebbles’ South African Virtual Exchange Program, learning how to become more tech-savvy and gain cultural awareness.

Centers for New Horizons

Polished Pebbles has partnered with Centers for New Horizons, a nonprofit organization that creates and implements programs that assist children, families and youth in becoming self-reliant. Polished Pebbles currently has programs with CNH families and youth in Mandrake Park and the Park Boulevard Community.

Metropolitan Family Services

In partnership with MFS, Polished Pebbles serves girls at Alex Haley Elementary Academy. MFS provides services at various sites that empower Chicago-area families to thrive and positively impact their communities.

The Links, Incorporated - Chicago Chapter

Links is a volunteer service organization composed of 12,000 women of color in 280 chapters across the United States. Members are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. The Chicago Illinois Chapter of Links has partnered with Polished Pebbles to promote and engage in educational, civic and intercultural activities, working together with members of Links and members of the larger Chicago community towards common goals.

Chicago Foundation for Women

Polished Pebbles recently received a grant from the Chicago Foundation for Women to support our work at Polished Pebbles’ partnering schools that have participated in the Brown Bag Apprenticeship/Mentoring Initiative with Bloomingdale’s, including the University of Chicago Charter School Campuses of Donoghue and Woodlawn. Specifically, the funding will support creating the “UChicago Polished Pebbles Female Network,” which will include a series of sessions teaching and engaging girls in peer mentoring and the spirit of giving back.

Jewel Osco

Polished Pebbles is grateful for the support we receive from Jewel Osco. Last year, they provided food for our Annual Daddy-Daughter Dance.