Starfish Initiative inspires, encourages, and prepares promising, economicall..
Starfish Initiative inspires, encourages, and prepares promising, economically disadvantaged students for college and career success. To achieve this goal, Starfish pairs economically disadvantaged high school students one-on-one with college-educated mentors.
We would like to tell you the story of one Mentor/Scholar pair - Jim and Calvin. When first paired with his Mentor Jim the summer after his 8th grade year, Calvin expressed his interest in architecture and the possibility of going to college to become an architect. Almost immediately, Jim began to expose Calvin to this career field. Each month, the pair would visit different commercial, residential or public buildings to analyze its structure and design. Through Jim’s guidance, Calvin has the opportunity to explore the realities of the career – to see if it truly is what he wants to do – before he begins pursuing it at the collegiate level.
For low-income students, like the ones that Starfish serves, starting work on a college degree that doesn’t engage or interest the student can be a hindrance to completing a degree. Fortunately, Starfish Initiative and Jim have provided Calvin with exposure to other career fields. While he may enjoy architecture, this exposure sparked a greater interest in engineering field, which he intends to focus his degree on, as well as participation on the school’s robotics team.
Another deterrent to college completion is that low-income students experience far fewer social activities compared to their middle/high-income peers. This can lead to the student feeling out of place or uncomfortable when their friends speak of traveling, going to camp or even eating at restaurants not of the fast food variety. But, through Jim’s persistence, Calvin will be more than ready.
Calvin has gained an appreciation for serving the community. Civic engagement has always been a priority for Calvin and Jim. They have volunteered with Key Club, Indy Urban Acres Organic Farm, the Indianapolis “Dig In” event, Starfish Initiative fundraising events, and more. Because of Jim, Calvin now realizes the benefits of volunteering. He’s learned networking skills, added his community service to his resume, and is a more empathetic member of the Indianapolis community.
“I just do my best to support him in his decision-making, but he has done all the work via great study habits and self-discipline,” said Jim. “I have just been working on a balance of his assets to make him well rounded in communication skills, attitude, grit and determination. His hard work at school sure is paying off at this moment.”
We are on a mission to raise $500 which will allow 10 economically disadvantaged students to receive personality and career assessments and a 1-on-1 debriefing with an HR professional to better understand their strengths and make decisions regarding their future college and career choices.
Let Us Donate For You
Our agency will donate $10 on your behalf for every recommendation you send our way, and we'll also add you to our monthly drawing for a $50 Gift Card! Getting involved has never been so simple, or free!
Below are a few moments shared between mentors & these great kids
Starfish Initiative is currently seeking volunteer mentors for their incoming freshmen class of 125 Starfish Scholars. If you are interested in learning more about mentoring, please visit:www.starfishinitiative.org/be-
UPDATE: Hello! Our donation is in care of the kind referrals to our Allstate Insurance Agency, Aspire: Insurance and Financial during April and May 2015 from the following individuals: Erick Pillco, Rich McBride, John Kutscheid, Jim Forehand, Jesus Montoya, Michael Walker, Kevin Durbin and Renee Barber.