Starfish Initiative is Marion County's only program that combines personalized, no-cost, one-on-one "college coach" mentoring for four continuous years as the foundation for supporting academically-promising high school students facing unearned adversity on their path to becoming college graduates.
During the four-year Starfish Experience, Starfish Scholars receive continuous guidance and one-on-one support from individually matched, college-educated mentors who commit to meeting with their Scholar every other week. These mentoring relationships, which serve as the cornerstone of the Starfish model, not only provide students with a positive role model and consistent source of support in addition to the support of their families, they also help prepare students to navigate college and professional environments.
In addition, Starfish Mentors help each Scholar to effectively prepare for personal and academic success by supporting their active participation in the three 3C’s of the Starfish model:
Starfish Initiative is proud to work with parents and guardians as you help your Scholar reach their full potential and become their educational best. Your active participation in the academic life of your Starfish Scholar is extremely important to the success of the program.
Starfish Initiative parents/guardians are responsible for the following:
Ad Astra Per Aspera
Per aspera ad astra is a popular Latin phrase meaning "through hardships to the stars".