Chicago—December 20, 2016 Inner-City Computer Stars Foundation (i.c.stars), an organization that expands opportunities for underserved young adults, announced today that it has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the PayPal Gives Corporate Advised Fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The grant was recommended by PayPal’s employee-volunteer led Chicago GIVE Team, and it will be used to support the technology, business and leadership skills training program.

Through a four-month, project-based boot camp, participants learn to apply technology to solve business challenges. They also grow their professional networks through mentoring, workshops that build empathy and trust, and industry events. The most recent cohort worked with client The PrivateBank to build a prototype of a financial literacy app for children.

As a result of the program, participants gain the financial capital – their earning power increases by an average of 450%, social capital – i.c.stars’ model provides access to potential employers, and intellectual capital to create lasting change in their lives and in their communities.

“Our program is made stronger through the volunteer efforts of our amazing partners—rockstars like Dan Wu and Harper Reed, who have donated time to mentor interns and advocate for us in the community,” said Sandee Kastrul, i.c.stars president and co-founder.”

This grant was made possible through the PayPal’s GIVE Team program, which empowers global employees to support the communities in which they live and work through volunteerism and employee-sponsored grants. With more than 25 GIVE Teams worldwide, employees recommend more than $600,000 in grants each year, which are then distributed to benefiting organizations through the PayPal Gives Corporate Advised Fund.

“PayPal Gives was established to further the positive social impact we seek to have as a company and to actively contribute to the betterment of our communities,” said Julie Vennewitz-Pierce, Senior Manager of Global Philanthropy & Employee Engagement at PayPal. “We’re proud to support a wide variety of programs around the world, each of which helps build stronger, more inclusive communities that enable greater opportunities for individuals and families. i.c.stars is a great example of this effort, and we’re pleased to support their work.”

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 360 individuals in Chicago, and places 90 percent of qualified graduates in jobs. Participants see their annual earnings increase by an average of 450 percent as a result of the program. In 2016, i.c.stars launched an affiliate in Columbus, Ohio, and created Enterprise Next, a lean startup incubator to jumpstart alumni businesses. Learn more at

Connecting and empowering people are at the heart of PayPal’s purpose. Every year we connect millions of donors with easy ways to support the causes they’re passionate about through the PayPal Giving Fund. We also empower charities with world-class tools to boost their own fundraising. We’re creating a global fundraising platform that inspires and enables everyone to take action. PayPal Gives supports and amplifies PayPal employees’ efforts to better their community through charitable giving, volunteering and fundraising. Funded by corporate contributions, it is one of the ways PayPal steps forward to further our social impact objectives and actively support our communities. PayPal GIVE Team grants are awarded by the PayPal Gives Corporate Advised Fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation.