$100,000 Grant from the Walmart Foundation Supports i.c.stars Technology Training and Geographic Expansion

$100,000 Grant from the Walmart Foundation Supports i.c.stars Technology Training and Geographic Expansion

Chicago—September 7, 2016 Leading workforce development nonprofit Inner-City Computer Stars Foundation, known as i.c.stars, received a $100,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation to support the growth of its technology training program serving diverse communities. This grant will be used to fund i.c.stars in Chicago and its expansion.

“The Walmart Foundation supports the vision of i.c. stars to provide motivated individuals with the training and opportunities to excel in the high growth technology sector,” said Carol May, Program Manager of the Walmart Foundation. “We are pleased to enable the expansion of i.c. stars into new cities over the next year.”

i.c.stars’ unique, project-based model trains young adults for jobs as technologists and community leaders. Interns build mobile apps, practice business communication and grow their social capital through daily interaction with chief information officers and other senior business leaders.

Success in the program relies on tenacity, resilience, integrity and making opportunities for others. The program empowers young people to create nonprofits or social enterprises and volunteer in their communities. One hundred percent of alumni survey respondents reported volunteering in the last 12 months.

And, graduates experience an average earnings increase of 450 percent, securing technology jobs at companies such as Accenture, Presence Health, Uptake and US Foods.

“This grant is a game-changer for i.c.stars,” said i.c.stars President and Co-Founder Sandee Kastrul. “It is a vote of confidence at a time of expansion and scaling, allowing staff to focus energy on the program itself.”

Through a social franchise model, i.c.stars recently opened its first satellite program in Columbus, Ohio, housed at startup hub Rev1 Ventures.

i.c.stars Milwaukee is scheduled to launch later this year in downtown Milwaukee. The Chicago-based nonprofit has received interest from nine other potential expansion cities, including in Rwanda and Mexico.

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About Inner-City Computer Stars Foundation (i.c.stars)

Formed in 1999, Inner-City Computer Stars Foundation (i.c.stars) is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization and social enterprise that prepares young adults for technology careers and community leadership. Using project-based learning and full-immersion teaching, i.c.stars has trained more than 330 individuals in Chicago, and places 95 percent of qualified graduates in jobs. Alumni see their annual earnings increase by an average of 450 percent as a result of the program. In 2016, i.c.stars created Enterprise Next, a lean startup incubator and social investment fund to jumpstart alumni businesses. Learn more at www.icstars.org.

A Measurable Impact

Initial placement rate:
90%
Industry retention rate:
81%
College attendance rate:
55%
Alumni actively engaged in their communities:
72%
Average 12-month earnings before program:
$10,790
Average 12-month earnings after program:
$44,010