Steans Center > For Students > Internships > Jumpstart


A national AmeriCorps program, Jumpstart trains DePaul students to deliver an innovative early education program via yearlong one-on-one relationships with preschool children from low-income households. Participants work with children on language, literacy, and social and initiative skills for a commitment of at least 300 hours during the academic year.

Our Work

At Jumpstart, we recognize the state of inequality in early educational experiences in America. And we also recognize that quality early educational experiences have a lasting impact. In fact, the best predictor of whether a 10th grader is reading at grade level is actually whether or not that child knew his alphabet at the age of 5. Extensive cognitive and neurological research indicates that the parts of the human brain most important for learning and developing cognitive skills are most active at an early age. Based on this research, the Jumpstart model is designed to enhance the educational efforts of Head Start and other early learning programs. By connecting early, through caring one-to-one relationships, Jumpstart promotes crucial brain development and essential primary skill building that leads to success not just in school, but also in life. With our commitment to broad and sustainable social change, it is also important for others to understand and adopt our vision. 

For this reason, we create strong and meaningful connections with: 

Families of Jumpstart children: to reinforce learning, empower parents, strengthen parent-child bonds, and develop one-to-one learning relationships at home. 

College & Universities: to leverage their Federal work-study programs and faculty expertise, while simultaneously bringing support networks to neighboring communities. 

Corps Members: to engage college students to work one-to-one with preschoolers, creating a group of trained, college-educated individuals with strong experience in early childhood education, an interest in continuing to serve in the field, and inspiration to be active and responsible citizens.

The Jumpstart Model

At Jumpstart, our goal is to build literacy, language, social, and initiative skills in young children. We do this by pairing motivated college students, called Corps members, with preschool children in caring and supportive one-to-one relationships for an entire school year.

For more information, contact Jeanette Estrada, Jumpstart Site Manager.