Sprinternship – A Partnership Between U.S. Soccer and Break Through Tech Chicago

U.S. Soccer Crest
U.S. Soccer Crest

In partnership with Break Through Tech Chicago, part of the University of Illinois Chicago College of Engineering, U.S. Soccer is participating in a Sprinternship program from May 10-28. The unique micro-internship seeks to transform the career trajectories of women (cis and trans) by advancing inclusion in the tech industry.


Meet the five UIC computer science students who will be working in technology-related areas at U.S. Soccer as part of this special program:



Emily Carroso is from West Chicago, Ill. She is a rising junior at the University of Illinois Chicago, majoring in computer science and minoring in Italian and Italian-American studies. She chose to major in computer science because her favorite high school course was AP Computer Science Principles and she wanted to be a video game designer when she was little.

Outside of class, Emily enjoys creating music, dancing, rock climbing and designing and playing video games. Prior to this internship, she was a teaching assistant for courses on MATLAB and data structures. She was also a course builder for an introductory Python course. Emily values working with a team and is excited for this opportunity. After this internship, Emily will be doing a research project to develop a program with the goal of inspiring middle school girls to pursue tech fields. 


Megan Herrera is a rising junior at the University of Illinois Chicago majoring in computer science and minoring in linguistics. She is from the northwest suburbs of Chicago and enjoys learning new languages, going to concerts and going on walks with her puppy. After graduation, she hopes to become a software engineer or get involved with research in a topic that she’s passionate about.

She is excited and thankful for the opportunity of her first tech internship at U.S. Soccer. While she didn’t play soccer growing up, she swam for several years and holds a strong connection to being an athlete. Playing sports has positively impacted her current journey as a computer science major because it taught her about perseverance, dedication and teamwork. She had never really considered her major and sports intersecting in a tech career, so she is looking forward to the Sprinternship and hopes to learn more about how computer science can benefit this industry.


Ifra Rabbani is a third-year student at the University of Illinois Chicago, majoring in computer science. She was born in southern California, but was raised on the north side of Chicago. In her free time, Ifra enjoys reading and cooking.

She had an affinity for math and problem-solving from a young age and chose to pursue an education in computer science to further her knowledge of applications and software engineering. As a full-time student, Ifra has learned strategic planning, communication and collaboration skills while her work experience has taught her multi-tasking and the value of prioritization. She is excited to bring her well-rounded experience to this opportunity at U.S. Soccer and is looking forward to growing her professional experience and network. 


Daniela Rodriguez is an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois Chicago, majoring in computer science. With a simple output of “Hello World” from a string of code, Daniela’s passion for programming kicked off her senior year at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, Ill. Since then, she has participated in Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute and continued to study programming at UIC.

As a Hispanic woman in computer science, Daniela takes pride in proving that anyone can pursue a career in technology, regardless of background. Ever since she discovered her passion, she has wanted to become a software engineer and contribute to projects that help increase diversity in the tech industry. With the partnership of Break Through Tech and U.S. Soccer, she seeks to continue gaining knowledge and a wonderful experience from this internship. 


Lorena Valladares is an undergraduate student at the University of Illinois Chicago, majoring in mathematics and computer science. From a young age, she always found computer science intriguing because of its limitless capabilities to create and manage applications, systems and more.

Lorena takes every opportunity in life as a learning experience. She believes that the path to success is finding joy in the things you do, therefore, she always tries to make the best out of every situation and this opportunity is no exception. Over the past few years as a student and working in customer service, she has learned to master important skills like time management, communication, commitment and patience. These experiences have influenced her to become the positive and hard-working person she is today.  Overall, Lorena values learning from people with professional experience and is excited to be part of the Sprinternship.