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i.c.stars in the news

i.c.stars Announces $1 million gift from New Profit

2022-12-06T19:12:41-06:00December 6th, 2022|Chicago, Milwaukee, National|

CHICAGO – New Profit, a venture philanthropy organization, has awarded $1 million to support i.c.stars’ priorities including technology training, leadership development, career readiness, and job placement for young adults from underserved communities.

“This incredible gift will help us scale the program,” said Sandee Kastrul, CEO and co-founder of I.c.stars, “so that we can respond to requests for training and help more young adults secure opportunities in the tech sector.”

“i.c.stars transforms the trajectory of individuals facing significant barriers to economic mobility by offering a combination of workforce skill training and intensive leadership development. Our financial investment and strategic support are aimed at helping them hone and execute their strategy to achieve greater impact, scale, and influence,” said Kevin Greer, New Profit Partner and Chief Administrative Officer, who recently joined the i.c.stars Board of Directors. “We […]

Regional focus on innovation ensures bright future for Northwest Indiana

2022-10-18T18:21:34-05:00October 18th, 2022|Chicago, National, workforce|

HOBART — Northwest Indiana, and indeed the entire urbanized coast of Lake Michigan from South Bend to Milwaukee, is perfectly positioned to become a national and international center of technology and innovation.

That was the message delivered by a variety of speakers Thursday to more than 500 entrepreneurs, community advocates, and business and municipal officials during the annual One Region luncheon at Avalon Manor in Hobart.

Natalie Vargas: Profile of an Inner-City Computer Star – August 2022

2022-10-18T18:17:46-05:00August 25th, 2022|Milwaukee, National|

BY TOM JENZ AUG. 08, 2022 10:33 A.M.

WisconsinInno: Molson Coors taps i.c.stars alumni to help design innovation spaces in Milwaukee, Chicago offices – July 2022

2022-08-25T12:03:47-05:00August 25th, 2022|Chicago, Milwaukee, National|

By Will Romano – Editorial Intern July 26, 2022, 10:10am CDT

Molson Coors Beverage Co. expanded its partnership with technology training nonprofit Inner-City Computer Stars (i.c.stars) this month by soliciting ideas from i.c.stars alumni for new innovation spaces in Molson Coors’ Chicago and Milwaukee corporate offices.

The alumni competed in small groups to present their ideas for the space, which all focused on cutting-edge technologies, according to a press release. Alumni students Angel Delgado and Khalil Hall won the competition on July 15.

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Between Worlds: My Journey into Design, Tech, and Science

2022-08-24T16:07:07-05:00August 24th, 2022|Chicago, National|

I was born on Chicago’s South Side. I’m an artist, who loved writing stories and studied film at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I assumed I’d find a job in that area but found it’s not so easy to make a living as an artist! My cousin graduated from i.c.stars and told me about the program. He now had a great job in the IT department at DeVry. He told me to try, telling me that core IT principles could lead to countless positions in many different industries.

Technology is everywhere, in some way or another. Being comfortable with tech can be the start of anything you want to do. I applied to i.c.stars and started in cycle 31.

I.c.stars teaches technology through real-world applications. Combining high expectations with a high level of structure and support makes the work challenging but memorable. I pushed through and, when I finished, landed a […]

i.c.stars Technology Ambassadors Give Back to Their Communities – Through the Teacher’s Bureau

2022-06-29T12:00:53-05:00June 29th, 2022|Chicago, National|

Technology Ambassadors Give Back To Their Commuities 

“This is the i.c.stars vision: teaching IT skills and encouraging us to apply those skills in the community. We can be servant leaders in our neighborhoods and role models to the kids who live there now,” said Larry Cowans, i.c.stars Program Manager and Graduate.

i.c.stars’ mission is IT training and workforce development, addressing low-skill jobs and lack of opportunity in the inner-city. It’s also about sustaining this development by cultivating leaders who can drive change in their communities. Cohorts are encouraged to look around their neighborhoods and find ways to leverage their skills to benefit others. The i.c.stars Teachers Bureau is one example of that community impact. 

“This is the i.c.stars vision: teaching skills and how to take those skills to help the community. So when the opportunity came to work with the Illinois Fatherhood Initiative, we were on it” […]

i.c.stars Partners With OneTen To Place Black Talent In Chicago Into Family-Sustaining Careers

2022-06-06T09:01:52-05:00June 6th, 2022|Chicago, National|

Chicago, June  6, 2022 — Inner-City Computer Stars (i.c.stars), an educational and workforce development organization offering technology training, leadership development, and career readiness support to inner-city young adults, announced today that it is partnering with OneTen, a coalition of leading executives and their companies who have committed to upskill, hire, and advance one million Black individuals over the next 10 years into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement.

As an endorsed talent developer, i.c.stars will join OneTen’s robust network to prepare and place Black individuals without four-year degrees into family-sustaining careers with America’s top employers, including American Express, Cisco, IBM, Walmart, and more.

“Working with OneTen, as a new friend and partner, we will increase access to technology training, opportunity, and career advancement for more Black Americans,” said Sandee Kastrul, i.c.stars president and co-founder. “We help employers see the value in non-traditional talent pipelines—and the value to their bottom line and our […]

i.c.stars Celebrates 50th Class of Turning City Young Adults Into Technology Leaders

2022-06-08T14:19:48-05:00June 3rd, 2022|Chicago, National|

Non-profit with operations in Chicago and Milwaukee hires two graduates as new staff leaders

Chicago, June 3, 2022—i.c. stars, which develops leaders through a technology training program for underserved young adults, has launched its 50th cohort with 20 participants from City of Chicago neighborhoods. The 16-week program prepares young adults with a high school diploma or GED for a career in the rapidly expanding field of technology.

Founded in 1999 by Sandee Kastrul, i.c.stars drives change through education, training and opportunity. i.c.stars provides underserved young adults with technology-based workforce development, community leadership training, internships and job placement. i.c.stars has an 83 percent placement rate and 96 percent of alumni volunteer after graduation.

i.c.stars has also hired two graduates to strengthen its training team:

  • Larry Cowans has been named program manager for i.c.stars. A graduate of one of the first i.c.stars classes, Larry has had a successful career in a variety of industries using 3D Design. Most […]

Work Shift article highlights i.c.stars: Making sense of tech bootcamps, coding schools, and on-ramps

2022-05-16T18:27:26-05:00May 16th, 2022|National|

Bootcamps have become synonymous with short-term tech training.

Their rapid rise, equally swift reality check, and resurgence amid the pandemic have been widely chronicled. Bootcamps haven’t quite reached MOOC status in the popular imagination, but are arguably a household name. A nationally representative survey this past fall found that three-quarters of American adults and nine in 10 business leaders had heard of tech bootcamps.

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