About Starfish Initiative

About Us

Starfish Initiative was established in 2003 with a vision to make a difference in the lives of marginalized youth – one student at a time. Today, Starfish Initiative continues to advance our mission: “to inspire, encourage, and prepare academically-promising, high school students facing unearned adversity for college and career success,” through our comprehensive Starfish Experience, a statistically proven four-year pathway to economic mobility for Indianapolis high school students.

 

We believe:

  • Mentoring is the key to improving the educational attainment and future of today’s youth. 

 

How we support our Scholars:

  • Using our unique one-on-one mentoring model, Starfish Initiative matches every student in our program with a college-educated, volunteer adult mentor.  Supported by Starfish Match Specialists, the adult mentors help their scholars effectively prepare for personal and academic success.

 

The Outcome:

  • 100% of Starfish Scholars who complete the 4-year program graduate from high school

  • 98% go on to enroll in colleges or universities across Indiana — and beyond.

Our Goal

Founded to help close the college-access gap for academically-promising students facing unearned adversity in Indianapolis, Today, Starfish Initiative continues to advance our goal and mission: “to inspire, encourage, and prepare academically-promising, high school students facing unearned adversity for college and career success.”

What We Do

By drawing on evidence-based research including Ruby Payne’s Bridges Out of Poverty framework, Starfish Mentors supported by Starfish Match Specialists help each scholar to effectively prepare for personal and academic success. by promoting their active participation in the three core essentials (3Cs) of the Starfish model: 1) College Readiness and Success; 2) Career Exploration; and 3) Character Development.  Starfish Initiative has a proven track record of helping promising students overcome barriers to achieve economic mobility,  develop cultural capacity and develop leadership skills necessary to prepare for personal and academic success.

Our Model

  • Provide intensive one-on-one mentoring and coaching

  • Match each Scholar with an adult mentor who makes a two-year commitment to meet with their Scholar every other week.

  • Mentors serve as a “life or college coach” to keep Scholars working toward achieving their goals of graduating high school, college and beyond. 

  • Through orientation and on-going mentor training, mentors form meaningful relationships with Scholars to help them better prepare for personal and academic success.

 “Starfish Story”

There was a young man walking down a deserted beach just before dawn. 

In the distance he saw a frail old man. As he approached the old man, he saw him picking up stranded starfish and throwing them back into the sea.

The young man gazed in wonder as the old man again and again

threw the small starfish from the sand to the water.

He asked, “Old man, why do you spend so much energy doing

what seems to be a waste of time?”

The old man explained that the stranded starfish

would die if left in the morning sun.

“But there must be thousands of beaches and millions of starfish!”

exclaimed the young man. “How can you make any difference?”

The old man looked down at the small starfish in his hand

and as he threw it to the safety of the sea, he said,

“I made a difference to that one.”

-- Adapted from The Star Thrower by Loren Eiseley (1907-1977)

Contact Us

2955 N. Meridian St.

Suite 101

Indianapolis, IN 46208

P: 317.588.6300 

info@starfishinitiative.org

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© 2020 Starfish Initiative, Indianapolis, Indiana 46250