education is a catalyst for change.
The Starfish Foundation provides scholarship, tutoring and leadership development to youth living in extreme poverty in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
The idea developed after co-founders Beth and Jenn volunteered for a year in Ecuador, where they volunteered at a shelter for former street kids. A lot of these kids had no family or little support at home. Though many of them had the motivation to study, they lacked financial resources to be able to attend school once leaving the shelter.
The shelter Beth and Jenn volunteered at educates students until they are 18 or finish the equivalent of 9th grade. Once they leave the shelter, many of them struggle to pay for books, uniforms, and other school supplies, so they simply never finish. Beth and Jenn also noticed this same struggle among many of their other neighbors and friends. The money just isn't there.
Though public schools in Ecuador are free, families often still struggle to provide all the necessary materials while living on minimum wage and trying to feed a whole family. The easiest solution is to not go to school.
The Starfish Foundation believes in the importance of education as a catalyst for future success of each student and their communities, thus it provides scholarships and mentoring to students in financial need who have the motivation to continue their studies despite challenging circumstances.