Meet Carl Wiley – Our New Intern

carlHey All! My name is Carl Wiley and I’m very excited to be joining the Policy and Advocacy team this year! I wanted to quickly introduce myself and give a bit of background as to who I am, what brings me to Heartland Alliance and IABG, and what I’ll be up to this year:

Q: Where are you from?

A: I was born and raised right here in Chicago. I grew up in the Wrigleyville neighborhood and despite the challenges we Cubs fans face, I count myself among them.

Q: What are you studying?

A: Currently I’m on my third and final year at University of Illinois at Chicago Jane Addams College of Social Work. My concentration is in Community Health and Urban Development. I’m hoping at some point to use all my education, previous work, and current experiences with the Heartland Alliance’s Policy & Advocacy team towards opening a transitional living program for precariously housed youth.

Q: Why did you choose to be a policy intern at Heartland Alliance?

A: I’ve spent the past six years providing direct services to young people engaging in social services and I’ve always wanted to understand the policies at work behind these programs and services. I previously worked in Champaign, IL as a case manager, the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago as a drop in center coordinator, and most recently as an outreach specialist in several Southside neighborhoods of Chicago. My work has always been based on one-on-one or group settings and I feel that to be a really great social worker I need a foothold in both direct service and policy work.

Q: What are you looking forward to during your internship?

A: Policy work is still a fairly new area for me so I’m generally open to everything we’re working on. I think I’m particularly interested in the research we’re doing on the existing racial wealth gap and studying / tracking current and new legislation.

Q: What have you done during the first month of your internship?

A: So far I’ve published few blogs highlighting upcoming events and conducted research on the racial wealth gap, policies related to credit scores, and how the implementation of the Affordable Care Act will impact the unbanked.

Q: If you could have dinner with 3 people living or deceased who would you choose?

A: As football season is gearing up and my Fantasy picks are successfully locked in, I’ll move on to my next pressing draft; dinner company. I’d like to think I’d gather three big, influential, thinkers around some deep dish and talk about changing the world, you know… simple stuff. First pick would go to American philosopher and accomplished activist Dr. Cornel West. Second Pick would go to bring back famed comedian Bill Hicks and hear his take on the world ten years later. Third and final pick would go to former president Bill Clinton whose Global Initiative has pushed some big ideas around the world. Although these people are all from different backgrounds and beliefs I’d like to think they would have one heck of a conversation.

If anyone has any questions, comments, or can think of a really great addition to my dinner draft feel free to drop me a line at 312-870-4933 or

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