Through committing volunteer resources and skills, Thoughtworks, a global technology company, is supporting the growth of i.c.stars, a Chicago-based not-for-profit devoted to identifying, training, and jump-starting technology careers for Chicago-area low-income young adults.
At the heart of i.c.stars is a conviction that the fundamentals necessary to lead to technology excellence - namely, solutions orientation, resilience, collaboration, commitment, empathy, reciprocity, and accountability - are the same as those necessary for community leadership. Thoughtworks’ alignment with the mission of i.c.stars has helped to elevate the technical level of the program and support the i.c.stars mission to create 1,000 community leaders by 2020.
“We believe that when young adults focus their talent on both technology services and community impact, their success in both increases significantly”, states Sandee Kastrul, President and Co-Founder of i.c.stars. “By training a talent pool that is driven to succeed both inside and outside the workplace, we are helping our graduates serve their employers, their communities, and themselves.”
“As a global technology company with social and economic justice at its very core, Thoughtworks understands the power of technology to connect, empower and educate”, states Sai Mandapaty, Global Head, Strategic Clients, Thoughtworks. “Our company was founded in Chicago over 20 years ago, and although we have grown across the globe, we have never lost sight of our roots and our commitment to helping our local community in the Chicago-area. The ongoing work we do with ic.stars serves as a clear example of inspiring technologists to become better local and global citizens.”
Based upon the success experienced over nine years of working with i.c.stars, Thoughtworks remains committed and will increase its participation. As a mentorship sponsor, Thoughtworks will provide 8+ hours a week, including office hours and targeted development, analysis and project management mentorship.
The alumni of i.c.stars are spread across more than 40 IT-related companies - spanning healthcare, software, governmental and manufacturing industries. To learn more about working with i.c.stars visit www.icstars.org.
Formed in 1999, i.c.stars is 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 opportunities to develop skills in business and technology. i.c.stars places 93 percent of its qualified graduates in jobs with average annual earnings of $31,500. Before completing the program, participants typically earn around $10,500. Learn more on the web at www.icstars.org.