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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Inner-City Computer Stars Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Employment, Job Training

Mission: i.c.stars was formed in 1999 to develop 1,000 Community Leaders by 2020. We are a non-profit organization in Chicago for adults with a high school diploma or GED. Using project-based learning and full immersion teaching, i.c. stars provides an opportunity for change-driven, future leaders to develop skills in business and technology.

Results: We are now in our 21st internship cycle. We see over 400 applicants to fill 10 slots per cycle. We have 145 Alumni to date. The average earning increase of our alumni is 200%. There are over 700 Active Volunteers. The program grew by 57% in the 2009 fiscal year. 81% of our alumni are working in technology. We have over 100 Community Partnerships.

Geographic areas served: Chicago, IL

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love this place!! I learned so much and expanded my network in unimaginable ways.
i.c. stars is the best way to a fresh start. They teach you to think.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful and a great help for those who want to learn and change. They have amazing tools to teach you business, leadership, and technology skills. This foundation is an excellent resource to all who want to learn, and change their life situation.

7

Client Served

Rating: 4

IC Stars is a great organization. They have developed a wonderful database tool that we use in our organization every day. Not only is the tool very helpful, but they too, are very helpful whenever we have questions or need additional support. Great organization with a great mission doing great things!

9

Former staff

Rating: 5

I am an alum of i.c.stars, and the organization has really changed my life. Prior to the internship I was doing ok really just cruising by in life. But once I got into the program I really just began to open up and blossom. I gained much more than the great hands on knowledge and experience. I really latched on to the culture of the brand and wanted to be present to help develop it into a realization of the vision of the founders. I know have the opportunity to give back and help build and lead under served communities in and around the city.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've met dozens of I.C.Stars alumni and I am so impressed with who they are and what they've accomplished! I.C.Stars alumni have proven their ambition and their willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done! What organization can do without people like these? This is a great organization to support and a great group of people to hire!

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

.c.stars is a non profit organization that helps you embody, BLT(Business, Leadership, and Technology) skills that will play a key role in making a difference in our community. CONTRIBUTE TO i.c.stars AND BE A PART OF DEVELOPING THE NEXT 1,000 COMMUNITY LEADERS BY YEAR 2020.Because of i.c.stars I am now building websites and waking the hidden entrepreneur that was dormant inside me. I thank i.c.stars for bringing out the best out of me to help others in the same way.

13

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Inner-City Computer Stars Foundation has given me the opportunity to develop and improve my business, leader and technical skills. As an intern, I.C.Stars has broadened my network by introducing me to C.E.O'S and other top executives at tea. The Inner-City Computer Stars Foundation focuses on giving back to others, the community and beyond. I had technical knowledge but now I have a purpose for utilizing that knowledge to help others. I never knew I could use my passion to change the world.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a long-time volunteer with i.c. stars* and can say that it is truly one of the world's best run and most visionary charities. i.c. stars* nurtures community leaders and lets them see that they can be positive, impactful agents of change.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful experience during my time at i.c.stars I learned valuable leadership, business, and technology lessons. I learned more there in my 4 months of training than I did in my 4 years of getting my college degree.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

In my experience, i.c.stars has provided me with an opportunity to realize my potential and has given me a means through technology to really give back. I had absolutely no technology experience what so ever and within 4 months, I had worked as a web developer for a non-for-profit, pitched a business plan to a group of venture capitalist, and was the lead database specialist on a project to enhance an inner office email system with a user interface for United Stationers. I also had the opportunity to go into MY OWN community and choose an organization to work wih. All of this from a single mother whose first and only job was a cashier at Jewel Food Store! I now work as a Development Analyst at one of the top health insurance companies in the nation! i.c.stars has offered 100s of people just like me the opportunity to shatter perceptions, become change agents, and uplift our communities.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i. c. stars is a top quality organization that offers real-world experience in a "life-classroom" setting, where driven individuals are given exposure to the world of IT through actual business acquisition, RFP responses, SDLC and solution delivery. I've had the privilege of speaking to quite a few individuals who graduated from the program as well ask knowing several of the founding members and current leadership team. I have found ALL of them to be extremely exceptional individuals who truly strive to make a difference. Whether you have experiences to share with hungry minds, real opportunities that require agile minds and solid solutions, or whether you are interested in giving back to the community in a way that is truly rewarding, I would highly recommend contacting i.c. stars to learn more about this organization

6

Former staff

Rating: 5

Working at i.c.stars and with i.c.stars staff, interns and alums was a transformational experience for me. It was one of, if not the most, profound opportunities I've been fortunate enough to be a part of. i.c.stars does indeed dare you to dream, challenging the limits of who you think you are and what you think you're able to do. A deep commitment to mentorship, relationship building, community and a no-holds barred attitude to attaining knowledge and experience makes i.c.stars thrive as an organization. The technology training is superb. i.c.stars truly empowers each member of each internship cycle to find and learn whatever programming language, content management system or anything else he or she needs or wants to learn. The greatest strength, however, is what is behind the technology training- leadership development. The how behind the training, the process of learning technology, provides a platform for leadership to flourish. Interns take initiative and decide what and how they need to learn. Interns are challenged to create opportunities for their community thus providing a context wherein interns must think about how they impact others and what they want that impact to be. A question most interns face is, "How do I use my knowledge, abilities and skills to create opportunities for others?" i.c.stars provides the support for the question to develop and the resources necessary for it to be answered. During my year there as an Americorp placement I had to dig deep and find the answer to that question for myself and luckily enough for me I've found one. It is with great gratitude that I vote for i.c.stars.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I.c.stars was a live changing experience. It change in many good ways my perspective of life at a personal and professional level. The training achieved when I was at icstars was real live scenarios and prepared me for a real job without having the extensive long classes in college. Thanks to the acceleration that icstars contributed in my life I have a great job.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing, empowering, and innovative place that changes people's lives. I am always and constantly impressed with their clear vision and their drive to succeed. I know they are well on their way.

3

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was an i.c. stars volunteer through my employer on the TEP programs over an approx 8 month period of time. I was consistently impressed with the passion, drive, and dedication the leadership team brought to the organization. I also met some of the interns, whose stories are quite inspiring.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with IC Stars for over 8 years now and it is truly one of the best progroams I have ever been involved with. Talk about an organization who "pays it forward". I can't say enough good things about IC Stars and what they have done for our community.

10

Client Served

Rating: 5

Every single person that I have met from this organization has not only been extremely driven, but has exceeded all expectations as to what you would believe an IT professional to be.

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

We have hired i.c.Stars students in the past, and have found they are extremely motivated and quick learners thus has nicley provided support and programming to our business needs around soical and web content.

7

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

Developing leadership skills and refining our professional abilities is a lifelong process and i.c.stars has provided many developing professionals with critical insights and training that has enabled them to succeed.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended IC Stars as an Intern in 2000. I was in a very difficult time in my life where I dealt with family issues and was unable to continue college. After a vigorous process, I was fortunate to be accepted in this program. Clearly this was a life changing experience for me. While this program teaches various technology, the discipline involved is unmatched. This was the first time ever where I had to work 12 hour or longer days to complete mock projects constructed by real companies. 2 tardies or an absent disqualifies you from the program. Unique was the involvement of the staff, volunteers, and other Interns. You really bond into another level of friendship when going through this level of difficult yet rewarding experience. After completing, this experience helped me to get a position with Microsoft Network, (IC Stars has a strong network) and now I am currently working at a Fund of Hedge Funds with IC Stars being the foundation of my work experience. Now I have over 7 years professional experience. I would recommend this to someone who is strong willed and who needs an opportunity to prove themself a person of good character. Definitely not for slackers.