by Starfish Initiative - Starfish Inc. - Indianapolis, IN
by Starfish Initiative
We envision a brighter path for Indianapolis youth who face the bleak prospects of a cycle of poverty – a path where overcoming the burdens and challenges to attend college, earn a degree, and successfully enter the workforce would be possible by providing consistent encouragement, support, and inspiration from a college-educated mentor committed to the student’s success. Starfish Initiative, along with 400 volunteer “college coaches” help our Scholars prepare for college and career success, serving an estimated 650 economically disadvantaged, predominantly minority students in high school and college.
Barriers to success include poverty, the lack of emotional support, life skills, and leadership training. Built on our acclaimed, one-on-one Mentor-Scholar relationship framework, the Starfish Initiative model is comprehensive in combating these barriers, with remarkable outcomes.
• 100% of Starfish Scholars completing our four year program graduate from high school
• 96% of Scholars matriculate to college, where in the last six years
• 74% have earned or still pursue their postsecondary degree
Starfish Initiative’s annual September Leadership Camp provides structured support and opportunities to develop effective leadership skills, interpersonal communications, conflict resolution skills and teamwork, while building self-confidence, enhancing character, and practicing self-sufficiency. For the majority of our new Scholars, Leadership Camp is their first opportunity to spend a weekend away from their urban home environments, giving them the experience packing an overnight bag, planning ahead on their own, and traveling to a new place – experiences that students from higher-income households are often familiar with. During the Camp experience, Scholars have the opportunity to gain this same advantage and envision the realities of transitioning to college by experiencing time away from home in a new place, practicing independence, sharing living space, and following new daily schedules.
Camp cost is $125 per camper and we expect 360 campers. Our fundraising goal will allow us to cover all of the “out of pocket” expenses of the Camp prior to departure on September 16, 2016.
I got the opportunity to be a mentor with Starfish and it was an amazing experience. I was not only able to help out in the community, but I made a great friend along the way.
Sept. 15, 2016, 12:11 p.m.
This number was the age I was when I graduated from Ball State University!
Sept. 12, 2016, 4:01 p.m.
I congratulate each of you for taking this path towards a college education. This is not the path to least resistance. I am also a first generation college student in my family, and It truly wasn't until my Junior year of college that I actually understood the power of education. Looking back on a 4 year degree, graduate school, and a professional certification, it seems like a mountain to climb. However, for this sacrifice, I have realized a since of accomplishment, work ethic, and a professional position that allows me to be excited to go to work. With all of that being said, I challenge each of you to stretch yourselves. In the grand scheme of things, college is 4 years of your life. Put in the extra effort up front, to realize a great deal of open opportunities in the future. I commend each of you for pushing yourselves and wanting more.
Best of luck!
Sept. 12, 2016, 3:41 p.m.
I met Melinda and Bob Kizer through Vision in Action. The number is associated with my first involvement with that group, which is also helping to develop leaders. Thank you, Starfish Initiative, for doing the work of developing leadership where it is both wanted and needed.
Sept. 12, 2016, 11:54 a.m.
I would just like to be able to send one person if possible. They'll have to throw in the extra dollar 😉
Sept. 7, 2016, 10:11 p.m.
I know how hard the Starfish mentors work and how dedicated they are.
Sept. 6, 2016, 6:02 p.m.
$24 dollars.... For my 24 years of life thus far! Excited for my first year of Starfish Leadership Camp as a Starfish Mentor & Chaperone. Praying for good weather and Starfish Scholars to have open minds & hearts to enjoy camp to it's fullest!
Sept. 1, 2016, 5:54 p.m.
I believe in Starfish because of the passion April has shown for the organization.
Sept. 1, 2016, 4:15 p.m.
My client, Alex Mislan, believe so much in this organization that she chose to come work there.
Sept. 1, 2016, 11:46 a.m.
36 is my age and 3+6 is my daughter's age. Every child deserves to have the same opportunities as her. Thanks, Starfish!
Aug. 30, 2016, 4:19 p.m.
I had to pay my own way through college because my parents didn't have the funds to provide my education so I am very proud to donate.
Aug. 29, 2016, 3:06 p.m.
Starfish Initiative does fantastic work and I fully support their efforts to make a difference in the lives of so many well-deserving young adults!
I'm also honored to have served on their Community Advisory Council.
Aug. 29, 2016, 9:44 a.m.
No story just a number available.
Aug. 29, 2016, 9:33 a.m.
28 for the largest group of prospective mentors to attend one of our mentor orientation sessions this summer who all showed up answering the call to change a life!
Aug. 26, 2016, 10:13 a.m.
Mentoring my scholar the past two years has been so rewarding. I graduated in 1973.... Hence $73.
Aug. 23, 2016, 7:12 p.m.
In support of April Wood and the fabulous person she is!
Aug. 23, 2016, 11:41 a.m.
Represents the year I enrolled in college (1982) as a first-generation college student!
Aug. 22, 2016, 4:23 p.m.
I run on a very limited budget but I know Bob and Melinda Kizer and am encouraged by the efforts they put forth for Starfish. I wish I could do more.
Aug. 20, 2016, 8:03 p.m.
on behalf of Pepper Starfish mentors Sam Fugate and Kyle Van Hoecke
Aug. 18, 2016, 7:17 a.m.
It's an honor to be working at Starfish Initiative and I'm blessed to be surrounded with an awesome team. This organization is about changing lives and making a difference right here in Indianapolis, Indiana. Once we pair a Scholar with a Mentor their lives will never be the same. Overall, you just can't put a price tag on giving back and our wonderful Mentors do it ever single day. Lucky for me that I have a front row seat at watching their lives change right before my very eyes.
Aug. 17, 2016, 6:36 p.m.
I value the work of Starfish and the positive impact it has on the lives of young people. I am turning 30 next month so the number was top of mind!
Aug. 17, 2016, 3:06 p.m.
I am blessed to work for this great organization and I chose the number 53 because I have 5 people in my immediate family and 3 beautiful children. My kids had or will have the opportunity to attend college without having to worry about the obstacles many of the youth that we serve face everyday. The number 3 also has been a symbol of love in our family, so I hope that this small token can share hope and love to those that we serve.
Aug. 17, 2016, 10:26 a.m.
My aunt is a terrific mentor and she turns 79 this year!
Aug. 16, 2016, 4:51 p.m.
I was eleven when I got my fist mentor and I am so thankful for the trajectory that set for me.
Aug. 16, 2016, 4:13 p.m.
The number of freshmen and sophomore high school students enrolled in the Starfish program the last two years. Each has aspirations of college and most will become first generation college goers - a game changer for them and their future.
Aug. 15, 2016, 4:02 p.m.