Starfish is dedicated to unlocking and maximizing the potential of young women to lead transformational change.
Through four key strategies, we support a new generation of leaders and enable a collective impact for adolescent girls, families, and communities. Our four strategies are, as follows:
1. Mentorship Program - Launched in 2008, this program supports high-aptitude girls on their path to, through, and beyond secondary school. After being chosen for the program, "Girl Pioneers" receive a partial scholarship to attend nearby schools. In both group and individual settings, these young women receive personalized support from a highly trained full-time mentor who helps them navigate social, familial, and academic challenges to ensure success. To date, a total of 240 Girl Pioneers and families have been served by this program. Key features: Operated through four different offices and geographic areas. Graduates have been recognized by the Malala Fund and Forbes and have spoken at the UN.
2. Starfish Impact School - Conceived in 2012 and officially launched in 2017, the Starfish Impact School integrates the mentorship program into a rigorous secondary school. The school incorporates some of the world's most effective tools and techniques into a culturally attuned environment. While mentors continue to provide holistic support to each Girl Pioneer and family, educators create an educational experience specifically designed to connect young women with the opportunities of the 21st century. The school opened for 48 girls in the 7th grade in January 2017. Between 45-50 more girls will be added each year until the school serves approximately 300 Girl Pioneers and families in grades 7 to 12. Key features: Temporarily operating in Panajachel while a permanent building is constructed in the city of Sololá. Over 30 school models were consulted during the development of the school.
3. New Horizons Graduate Program - Upon graduation from high school, Girl Pioneers in this program continue to receive support to launch small businesses, find a formal job, and/or attend university. To date, a total of 240 Girl Pioneers and families have been served by this program.
4. Chispa ("Spark") Action Network - Launched in 2015, this initiative aims to proactively connect girl-focused organizations through four key areas:
• Shared innovation and the exchange of best practices
• Synergy among the girls Starfish serves
• Increased transparency and credibility
• Access to shared resources
Chispa represents Starfish's strategy to create systemic change in Guatemala and is driven by shared-value partnerships among organizations, innovators, companies, and the government. Key features: The Chispa network is currently comprised of 15 organizations throughout Guatemala and has benefitted from the support of several of Guatemala's leading companies.