STAFF BIOS
 

AUSTIN ELLIOTT

MATCH SPECIALIST

E: austin@starfishinitiative.org
P: 317.588.6317

 

Austin comes to us with a background in social work and higher education. A 2017 graduate of  the BSW Program from the University of Indianapolis, his first step was into the mental health field. After working with middle schoolers, he transitioned into the world of higher education as an admissions counselor. Throughout his time in that role, he became passionate about aiding students along their educational journey and discovering their potential and career goals. With this background, he hopes to continue to be a resource for both Scholars and Mentors in navigating the pathway to college and beyond.

JORDAN COLEMAN

DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

E: jordan_c@starfishinitiative.org
P: 317.588.6318

 

Jordan is an Indianapolis native, who graduated from Warren Central High School. She received her bachelor’s degree from IUPUI in Sociology and master’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-profit Leadership.

Jordan formerly led the Regional Public Affairs department at GEICO where she built community relationships, developed a volunteer portfolio, and increased annual fundraising. She helped the corporation gain exposure as a company that cares, shares, and gives back to the community. 

Alongside her success at GEICO, Jordan has received nominations for Junior Achievement’s Indy’s Best and Brightest and Center for Leadership Development’s Up and Coming Achievement Award. She also has served on committees and boards for March of Dimes, Indiana Children’s Bureau, Junior Achievement, and Black Fathers Rock. She enjoys mentoring high school and college students in her spare time. 

Jordan is a dedicated wife to her husband, Geordan, and a mother to their daughter. 

 
 

JASMINE RODRIGUEZ

DIR. OF MENTOR ENGAGEMENT

E: jasmine@starfishinitiative.org
P: 317.452.8585

 

Originally from the west coast, Jasmine Rodriguez is a 2012 graduate of Stanford University, where she earned a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Education.   Her student involvement experiences and an internship at the admissions office in her senior year influenced her decision to pursue a career in college admissions after graduation. She arrived in Indianapolis in the winter of 2013 with two suitcases full of clothes, and a job offer from the University of Indianapolis. Since then, she has adopted Indy as her hometown, worked for three different colleges in central Indiana, and met the love of her life at a college information night! As a former Starfish mentor, Jasmine is thrilled to continue working with the organization; only this time as a team member. She brings over 7 years of professional knowledge in college admissions and strategic recruitment, including diversity recruitment, and her personal experience of navigating the college search process as a low-income student from a family of immigrants. 

 

Prior to joining the Starfish Initiative team, she was the Associate Director of Admissions at Franklin College, where she was responsible for: multicultural recruitment initiatives, developing and facilitating annual diversity and inclusion training for the admissions staff, and building strategic partnerships with community-based organizations in central Indiana. Jasmine has also been a member of the Indiana Association for College Admission Counseling since 2013, and was recognized by this professional organization in 2015, with the Rising Professional Award. 

 

In her spare time, she enjoys hosting dinner parties for friends, traveling, and spending time with her fiancé Greg and their two dogs, Trixie and Dolly. 

 

JESS LEDESMA

MATCH SPECIALIST/BILINGUAL

E: jessica@starfishinitiative.org
P: 317.588.6306

Jessica is a 2018 graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. She studied Secondary English Education knowing she would utilize her degree to work alongside students in her community. She decided to work at Starfish Initiative after college because she knew students needed more support outside of the classroom and there is no better way through Starfish! Jessica is also directly involved in initiatives that support Scholar Alumni and oversees the Scholar Advisory Council (SAC).  A current mentor and member of the Latino community, Jess is able to bring her unique perspective into her role as a Match Specialist.

 

PENG THANG

MATCH SPECIALIST/BILINGUAL

E: peng@starfishinitiative.org
P: 317.588.6319

 

I am originally from Myanmar. I came to the U.S. at 12 years old without knowing any English. I earned a Bachelor's degree from Indiana University, Bloomington in Liberal Studies. Although I originally majored in Pre-med, I figured out in my junior year that Pre-med wasn't for me in the second semester. Now that I have completed college, I would like to help guide scholars in their educational careers. When I'm not at work, I like to play soccer and volleyball.

 

ELLEN SALMON

OFFICE MANAGER

E: ellen@starfishinitiative.org
P: 317.588.6301

 

Ellen is the Office Manager for Starfish Initiative and has over 30 years of non-profit experience.  She is often described as “the glue that holds us together” and enjoys working for an organization that truly makes a difference in peoples’ lives. She received a Bachelors of Social Work degree from Manchester College.  She and her husband Greg have 3 children, Shelby, a graduate of the University of Arkansas, Trevor, a graduate of the University of Southern Indiana and Sam, a senior at the University of Southern Indiana. Ellen spent many years cheering on her kids in gymnastics, baseball and basketball and enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.

Contact Us

2955 N. Meridian St.

Suite 101

Indianapolis, IN 46208

P: 317.588.6300 

info@starfishinitiative.org

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

Subscribe

© 2021 Starfish Initiative, Indianapolis, Indiana 46250