Join Our Team


At Special Olympics Illinois, we’re committed to building a diverse, creative, engaged, collaborative, and hard-working team that does the right thing for our athletes, our communities, and each other. Our employees are our most valuable asset, and we celebrate this through recognition and benefits enhancements that reflect our changing times and help our employees create a satisfying work-life balance for themselves and their families.

We are focused on the well-being of our employees throughout the state because we know they are the difference-makers in the lives of our Special Olympics Illinois athletes. We aim to create a positive atmosphere where employees feel valued, fulfilled, challenged, and engaged. We truly want people to love working here, and we strive to create a culture that allows for growth, opportunity, and fun.

Whatever your background, there’s a career waiting for you at Special Olympics Illinois.

The SO Way

Since 1968, the world of Special Olympics Illinois has been changing lives and attitudes. Our movement focuses on Athletes as our top priority and we celebrate, respect and honor them… ALWAYS. 

The culture at Special Olympics Illinois is our foundation and we passionately adhere to the following concepts and principles that guide our actions every day.

  • We are a competitive sports organization and we always put our Athletes first.
  • We value respect, honesty, fairness, equality, diversity, inclusion and individual rights.
  • We are passionate and enthusiastic towards our Mission and Vision.
  • We are friendly and kind to everyone we serve.
  • We take accountability for our actions and hold others accountable for their actions.
  • We fix our mistakes.
  • We trust each other and build relationships of mutual respect.
  • We listen, act professionally and assume good intent.
  • We are dedicated to growing SOILL and increasing efficiencies.
  • We are good teammates.
  • We support and align with each other for the benefit of SOILL and its athletes.
  • We are honest and transparent.
  • We focus our actions on today and tomorrow while learning from those of the past.
  • We will not do anything that is self-serving or make decisions based on personal benefits.
  • We know that having a Positive Attitude will help us achieve great things.
  • We expect everyone on our team to provide leadership at one point or another.
  • We are good stewards of the public trust and our resources.
  • We adhere to the highest standards of moral and ethical behavior.

Current Internship Openings

Apply Now For A General Internship or Student Worker Position With Special Olympics Illinois

Current Job Opportunities

Current Key Volunteer Opportunities

*Applicants have rights under Federal Employment Laws*

What’s it like to work at Special Olympics Illinois?

“Special Olympics Illinois provides opportunities to directly see the benefits of all the work we do. At events and activities, we get to personally see the success of the athletes, the fun and interactions the volunteers have with the athletes, and the pride of family members and coaches when they see their athlete reach a personal best or win. It is great to know that all we do has such a direct, positive impact on so many people.”
--Tracy Hilliard, Senior Director - Program Services

Family. Team. Joy. Meaning. These are some of the words that come up when employees talk about working for Special Olympics Illinois. A place where work is fulfilling, communication is open, and your team works together to achieve great results. For Special Olympics employees, we love what we do. We’re proud of our culture, our team, and the work we do each and every day.

“It’s the most employee-friendly place I’ve ever worked.”
--Patty Welsh, Program Development

Great teams are diverse in their composition and capable of changing and growing all the time. Special Olympics Illinois is truly one big family that grows and changes together. We strive to be one of the best places to work, and to accomplish this we are always changing to meet the needs of our staff in an ever-changing world.

What kind of background do I need to work at Special Olympics Illinois?

At Special Olympics Illinois, we recognize that each of us brings something unique to the team. These differences are reflected in how we develop our worldview, how we process information and learn new skills, and how we approach work, family, and personal relationships. They may also include race, ethnicity, gender identity, language, sexual orientation, health, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political convictions, socio-economic status and education. We know that when we are all working toward the same goal, these differences are, in fact, our greatest strength. This is why we are committed to creating an environment where everyone feels welcome, valued, and respected.

The following is a listing of skills and competencies we look for in potential Special Olympics Illinois employees:

  • Teamwork / collaborative nature
  • Enthusiastic, positive attitude
  • Passion for community engagement
  • Service-oriented
  • Honest and respectful
  • Forward-thinking
  • Adaptable
  • Leader among peers
  • Organized and self-directed
  • Creative and Innovative
  • Strong initiative
  • Excellent written and verbal communication abilities
  • Problem analysis, decision making, and analytical capabilities
  • Diverse background, experiences, and skill sets

We want to give all our employees the support they need in order to do their best work, and we are always on the look-out to recruit, train, and retain the best talent possible in order to move forward as an organization.


Want an opportunity to gain relevant business experience while working with an innovative and world-class non-profit? You’ve come to the right place, and we’re excited you’re interested in joining our team.

“Not only am I learning skills that I will take with me into my future, but I know I’m a part of something so much more influential than anything I’ve ever done before.”
--Illinois State University Student Jackie Hauswith, Event Coordinator Intern, Spring Semester 2013

We offer business, finance, sports management, organizational leadership, communications, technology, marketing, and human resources internship opportunities, and our internships are open to all majors. You’ll gain invaluable on-the-job experience, career development, and leadership opportunities while getting an introduction to our collaborative, fulfilling, and engaging culture.

We’re honored you are considering beginning your career with Special Olympics Illinois.


Hear firsthand how an internship with Special Olympics Illinois could provide a great development opportunity for you! 

"Interning with Special Olympics Illinois has given me the opportunity to gain valuable, real-life work experience by challenging me to develop a structured program for interns, while also allowing me to be a part of something much more meaningful than a typical internship" -- Illinois State University Student Ellen Walters, Human Resources Intern

"Special Olympics has provided me the opportunity to learn the accounting process from the non-profit standpoint. SOILL is a great organization that provides all the necessary resources for a successful internship." -- Hope College Student Scott Keith, Finance Intern

"Working at Special Olympics Illinois has been a very rewarding experience with lots of fun projects and great people to work with" - Bradley University Student Abby Green, Torch Run Intern