Compassionate Impact Grant Recipient Starfish Strongly Supports Education


Starfish is a powerful model of education and support focused within the native Mayan community in Guatemala. Throughout their history, they have a track record of empowering Girl Pioneers, increasing literacy in students and their parents, and encouraging traditional education and strong mentorship for girls after the sixth grade. Their mentorship program strengthens the bonds between different aspects of their community, education, students, families and mentorship. They take the successes and failures of their Girl Pioneers into account to advance their programs for the better.

After years of supporting Girl Pioneers with strong mentorship, Starfish recognized that while some education is better than no education, the traditional Guatemalan education program is not designed to move their Girl Pioneers into a career motivated vocation or poverty reduction opportunities. Instead, it appeared to be the opposite.  Girl Pioneers may have had education far beyond their peers, but the education was not as effective as Starfish was ready to accept. Starfish has an established relationship in and is strongly rooted in the community, highlighting a compassionate impact grant desire of community-driven approaches.

This fall, Starfish is opening their first “high school” model program in the region that has state of the art teaching principles in place for the Starfish Girl Pioneers. With rental space secured for the school, they designed as strong of a teacher training process as possible. The Impact school will open in 2017 with 40-7th grade Girl Pioneers. . Innovative approaches, combining their mentorship program with superior educational opportunities.

Teacher training includes models and introduction to best practice teaching and teaching certification through programs in the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala. They also plan a Girl Pioneer selection process and a strong orientation to strengthen their launch. We direct our efforts on Evidence –Driven models, such as Starfish’s teacher training and education program.

Starfish has big dreams for capacity building, while piloting their first school in 2017 with 40 students (and adding another cohort or grade of students each year), they see this as a model that their strong organizational collaborative capacity building approach can use in the future, as well as launching a second location in the year 2020.

We welcome Starfish as our Compassionate Impact Grant in 2015. The Compassionate Impact Grant is an open, competitive application process, with applicants assessed based on their ability to provide evidence-driven, innovative solutions that expanded the organization’s reach. Starfish joins 2014 awardee Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative. During this quarter, all monies allocated towards our five beneficiaries will be combined to support this grant. If you have questions about your options to allocate your donations during Q2 2015 contact AJ Chalom, Humanist Giving Coordinator.

The Compassionate Impact Grant award to Starfish is meant to propel a new or piloted program significantly to a new level, successfully supporting their teacher education process for their new school endeavor.