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Make A Difference Spotlight: Creating Jobs and Stronger Communities


One of the things I find so interesting about i.c. stars is its dual focus on business and community, and the ripple effects that result. In fact, if you fast-forward in the lives of i.c. stars’ 200 alumni, you will see successful new business startups, thriving professional careers and avid volunteerism, as well as an impressive cadre of nonprofit founders, executive directors, board directors and public policy influencers.

Here are three i.c. stars who prove my point:

i.c. stars alum Yemisi Dinkins is executive director of Las Caras Lindas (Beautiful Faces). Through a six-month self-esteem mentoring curriculum of creative expression, group discussion, financial empowerment, entrepreneurship and community activism workshops, volunteering and community tours, LCL helps Black and Latina girls and women define themselves by exploring who they are as individuals, members of the community and leaders in society.’

Vera Shabazz leveraged her i.c. stars internship into a successful career with United Airlines, but that’s not all. Vera also is chief executive officer of Virginia’s House II Inc., an organization she molded and named in honor of her mother Virginia Askew. In addition to providing a warm and safe atmosphere for victims of domestic violence, Virginia’s House helps survivors become thrivers by offering guidance and assistance to clients in acquiring permanent housing or becoming homeowners.

Inspire by L.O.V.E. is the brainchild of Beatrice Elizalde, another i.c.stars alum who also has served as a project administrator for Blue Cross Blue Shield for the past six years. On a mission to create change within our communities with Leadership, Opportunity, Value and Education (L.O.V.E.), Inspire volunteers conduct fundraising talent shows, as well as teach art and offer math tutoring after school, to youngsters in Chicago’s Brighton Park neighborhood.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” i.c. stars and its alumni embody those wise words, which is why I encourage you to join me in supporting i.c. stars. Here are three ways YOU can help:

Sponsor i.c. stars

Volunteer with i.c. stars

Become an i.c. stars employer

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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