Technology, innovation and mentoring are all-important to Leslie McKinney who came to the Village through the Ageless Innovators* program. From childhood she liked math and science and began her career as an intern at Xerox. While there, she earned an M.S. in Engineering and Global Operations Management. She left Xerox in 2016 to become the Director for the Chicago Chapter of Black Women in Science and Engineering (BWISE), an organization focused on bridging the leadership gap for black women in STEM. She was part of Chicago Innovation’s Women’s Mentoring Co-op; a mentor for the Chicago Student Invention Convention; and for mHUB, Chicago’s first innovation center focused on physical product development and manufacturing. “We all need mentoring at every stage of life” Leslie says. “I like to be a resource to help people and to do that, you need to keep adding to your knowledge.”
*Chicago’s first multi-generational co-mentoring program, a joint venture of The Village Chicago and Chicago Innovation.