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, encouraging traditional education and strong mentorship for girls after the sixth grade.
They have developed a wonderful process of identification of the girls and families that will be most successful within their program to optimize their impact and their success. They embody a whole family model to support their Pioneers. Mentoring time between Pioneers, their mentors and families is a core part of their program.
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 career motivated vocations or poverty reduction opportunities, however the opposite, with Girl Pioneers, while experience education far beyond their peers, the education was not as effective as Starfish was ready to accept.
In fall 2015, Starfish announced 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 a teacher training process as possible. The Impact school will open in 2017 with 40 7th grade Girl Pioneers.
Teacher training includes a 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 strong orientation to strengthen their launch.