Throughout the summer in Chicago, a select group of motivated and talented youth have the opportunity to discover opportunities and careers in Engineering, Architecture, Law, Business, and Journalism. In 2016, Midtown, DePaul and PRSA set out to transform the Journalism apprenticeship and educate Chicago teens on Public Relations. Meet the students and staff of the PR/Journalism apprenticeship program at the Midtown Center for Boys.



Aray rivera

Lead Instructor



DePaul University

M.A., Public Relations/Advertising (expected '18)

Florida International University

B.A, Communication Arts ('15)



Born and raised in Miami, FL., Aray Rivera moved to Chicago to pursue a Masters in Public Relations and Advertising at DePaul University. Before moving to Chicago, Aray worked for over 5 years at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University as the Admissions Officer. Here is where he began to fall in love with helping students succeed. Working at Midtown Center was very beneficial for Aray because he got to use his mentoring skills in higher education to help these high school students figure out what they want to be when they grow up.

After graduation, Aray hopes to work for a global internal communication firm focusing on diversity and inclusion. He believes there is much to be done in public relations for minorities and wants to help push that forward. When he is not in school, Aray likes to stay active by rock climbing, hiking, water rafting, and paddle boarding. When he is not out in the water, he is usually traveling as much as he can to learn the different cultures the world has to offer.



Mariano Gomez

Assistant Instructor


Holy Cross College

B.A., English (in progress)



My name is Mariano Gomez. I am a junior at Holy Cross College in Notre Dame IN. I live in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood in Chicago and attended Northridge Prep for high school. I have been with Midtown all my life. When my father was young he attended Midtown as a student and later was the director of the sports program. If it was not for Midtown he would have never heard of the Northridge where my four brothers and I have attended. I started Midtown when I was in about 4th grade in the one on one program. My family and I have always grown up around midtown to the point that it feels natural to come back every summer. Midtown has provided my family with further development of character over the past years that has made us into the young men we are today. 

Working with the journalism apprenticeship has been fantastic! Aside from what it is that MEF has to present to the families of Midtown and Metro and to our sponsors such as a news letter, the students in the journalism apprenticeship do a great job at being the face of current events at Midtown.  I am very proud to be able to oversee the progress of these young men who have amazing potential in writing. Even if they do not pursue a career in this field they will have learned to communicate clearly and effectively with others which will help in any field. These young men have improved dramatically and as they go on to their respective high school I know they will put the skills they have learned at Midtown to use.