i.c.stars Announces $1 million gift from New Profit
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 couldn’t be more excited to support Sandee and her team’s work to increase access to jobs that offer stable living wages and entry into thriving careers in tech, and to build on the assets of i.c.stars interns to support them in becoming high-impact leaders and community change agents.”
More than 80% of i.c.stars’ graduates obtain jobs in technology within three months, with salary increases of 300% over pre-program income—that’s a $2.2 million wage increase in just the first year, for each graduating class. They become entrepreneurs and business owners. They purchase homes, invest in their communities, and begin to create generational wealth in communities that have previously been left behind. The mission of I.c.stars aligns with the goals of New Profit: supporting the work of proximate leaders and social entrepreneurs, those who understand the challenges and are ready to advance equity and opportunity. i.c.stars was selected for New Profit’s Postsecondary Innovation & Equity (PIE) cohort in 2020, which made the organization eligible for this larger award.
About New Profit New Profit is a venture philanthropy organization that backs social entrepreneurs who are advancing equity and opportunity in America. New Profit exists to build a bridge between these leaders and a community of philanthropists who are committed to catalyzing their impact. New Profit provides unrestricted grants and strategic support to a portfolio of organizations led by visionary social entrepreneurs to increase their impact, scale, and sustainability. It also partners with social entrepreneurs and other cross-sector leaders to shift how government and philanthropy pursue social change to ensure that all people can thrive. Since its founding in 1998, New Profit has invested over $350M in 200+ organizations and, through the America Forward Coalition’s collective advocacy efforts, has unlocked over $1.7B in government funding for social innovation.
Formed in 1998, Inner-City Computer Stars (“i.c.stars”) is an educational and workforce development organization offering technology training, leadership development, and career readiness to inner-city young adults. Using project-based learning and full-immersion teaching, i.c.stars helps break the cycle of multi-generational poverty, of limited horizons, and dead-end jobs. It also helps companies fill the growing number of tech positions while addressing the need for greater diversity in the tech sector. i.c.stars nurtures leaders who stay connected to their neighborhoods and build stronger communities. i.c.stars delivers training in Chicago, Milwaukee (since 2018), and will open in Kansas City in 2023. More at: https://www.icstars.org.