An Impact Evaluation of i.c.stars’ Internship and Residency Program
This project was withdrawn prior to data collection.
LEO plans to conduct a randomized controlled trial evaluation of the i.c.stars Internship and Residency Program for underserved young adults. Interns complete a 4-month boot camp during which they build technology and leadership skills, receive a weekly stipend, and network with local technology executives. Alumni receive 20 months of post-program support. The program screens applicants on leadership ability and grit. After this initial screening, successful applicants will then be randomly assigned either to a final panel interview that determines program access, or to a control group that is ineligible to participate. Our study has two aims. First, we will investigate factors that predict successful selection into the program using data collected during the application process. Second, we will exploit experimental variation in program participation to estimate the program’s causal impact on earnings, education, and usage of government programs over two years. We hypothesize that access to the i.c.stars program increases students’ earnings, either leads to or substitutes for formal education, and reduces reliance on government benefits. We will recruit a pilot sample of 100–150 applicants. The goal of the pilot is to validate and refine the proposed enrollment and evaluation procedures in preparation for a larger evaluation.