Women in Tech: Meet Kennedy-King College’s Tech Launchpad Director, Lynette Correa-Velez


“Make no small plans” is part of Lynette Correa-Velez’s mantra. We sat down to ask her what’s in the plans for the Tech Launchpad at Kennedy-King College.

How did you end up in Chicago and at City Colleges?

I’m originally from Boston, MA and moved to Illinois to attend graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A promotion for my husband landed our family in Chicago and so far, it’s been amazing and such a beautiful city.

Like many students that I now work with, I’m a first-generation college graduate. My role models have been my mother and the first Latina astronaut, Ellen Ochoa—along with many others. I’m lucky to have had so many mentors and role models in my life.

Before joining Kennedy-King College in August 2022, I’ve had 20 years of professional experience in career coaching and workforce development with diverse learners and employer partnerships especially in tech. I’m excited to be the director of such an incredible learning space and working with amazing tech partners like SDI Presence in service to others.

What are your plans for the Tech Launchpad at KKC?

I’m here to ensure that all of our tech education students are fully supported and tech career ready. We plan to assist our students in five areas of tech education:

  1. Web Design and Development
  2. Game Development
  3. Software Development
  4. IT Networking
  5. Cybersecurity

What do you hope to accomplish for our students with the Tech Launchpad?

I want to make sure all of our tech education students, whether they are taking continuing education courses, or a tech certification or a 2-year degree in tech at Kennedy-King College have the resources and opportunities inside and outside the classroom. I plan on engaging student experiences that range from attending tech conferences to connecting them to tech apprenticeships locally, regionally, and nationally in partnership with Kennedy-King and City Colleges of Chicago colleagues.

Are there any upcoming events we can share with the City Colleges community?

In centering racial and gender equity in tech in all of our programming and initiatives at Tech Launchpad at Kennedy-King, I’m excited to share our inaugural, “In(clusive) Tech Talk Webinar Series” in Spring 2023 that will be open to all City Colleges of Chicago students. I’m looking forward to tech career coaching our students and alumni either in groups, or individually. This Summer 2023, I will have big news to share about our new Tech Launchpad (TLP) Scholars’ program. And this Fall 2023, we will host our inaugural, “Tech Hybrid Community and Career Fair” at Kennedy-King in the Great Hall which will be open to all City Colleges of Chicago students, alumni, and community members.

Lynette Correa-Velez earned her Bachelor of Science from Lesley University and her Masters in Education in e-Learning from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she is now a doctoral student.