Starfish Initiative


To encourage, inspire, and prepare motivated high school students from the most vulnerable populations for college, career, and life success through one-on-one mentoring.


Starfish Initiative was established in 2003 with a vision to make a difference in the lives of marginalized youth – one student at a time. Today, Starfish Initiative continues to advance our mission: to inspire, encourage, and prepare motivated, high school students facing unearned adversity for college, career, and life success through our one-on-one mentoring approach. We believe mentoring is the key to improving the educational attainment and future of today’s youth.

During the four-year Starfish Experience, Starfish Scholars receive continuous guidance and one-on-one support from individually matched, “college and career coach” Mentors who meet with their Scholar on a bi-monthly basis. Starfish Mentors supported by Starfish Match Specialists help each Scholar to effectively prepare for personal and academic success by promoting their active participation in the three core essentials (3Cs) of the Starfish model: 1) College Readiness and Success; 2) Career Exploration; and 3) Character Development. These Mentor and Match Specialist relationships are vital to helping shape future leaders.

Arthur Dean Family Foundation Funding:

  • 2023: Core Operating / Unrestricted Funding