Julie Hull wrote -
Starfish is dedicated to the education and empowerment of young women—unlocking a new generation of leaders. Together, we enable a collective impact for adolescent girls, families, and communities. Through unique local implementation and thoughtful innovation, Starfish employs an effective combination of scholarship, professional mentorship, and peer support to unlock the talents of each uniquely qualified and determined girl. We find her just after 6th grade, when she is at a critical juncture: puberty begins and middle school costs prohibit her continued education. Starfish selects her for her vision, aptitude, and her family’s collective commitment. Rather than abandoning school, she becomes a Starfish Girl Pioneer. Her potential, rather than remaining dormant, suddenly starts to soar. A local professional mentor guides her and her family along an unparalleled journey—first through middle school, then to and through high school and into her career. She joins an extraordinary group of other Girl Pioneers that fuels her ongoing courage and perseverance. She acquires external knowledge and experience about systems (health, financial, reproductive, etc.) that have eluded Mayan women for generations. And perhaps more important, she identifies her internal strengths, her empowered voice, and the resilience to be an effective leader and role model.