Take a Chance; Make a Change: Starfish Scholars Give Back.

All the individuals who attend the Starfish Foundation have earning their high school diploma as a goal. During their last two years of High School, not only are they giving their best in the classroom, but students also show their appreciation for all the years in which they attended by giving back to the community through service.

The goal of these community service projects is for our scholars to share their ideas and motivation and then carry out a good lasting project within the Starfish Foundation.

We currently have 12 students in Flor de Bastión and 4 students at our Guasmo site working on project plans. The projects for the 2016-2017 are still in the development stage, but the students have already decided on four projects.

The four scholars in Guasmo have teamed up to work with a local hospital and/or shelter to volunteer their time and energy and also the bring needed items like food and clothing. They also plan to organize activities to bring them joy.

The other three projects are being carried out in Flor de Bastión. The first, focusing on communication and integration hopes to bring people of the community together to improve relations. The second group, who are still ironing out the specifics, hope to work with seniors to brighten their day. The third group is planning literacy classes for adults in the neighborhood who never learned to read or write.

These projects were selected after a brainstorming meeting where our scholars first outlined what community service meant to them and identified what community specifically they wanted to serve (their neighborhood? Their school? Their country?) Once that was decided they made a list of the needs in those communities and thought about the kinds of skills they have and which of these needs they might be able to meet. Along the way, many different ideas are proposed and discussed until the group narrows it down to a few projects they can focus on and make the most impact.

We will be sure to follow up with these projects throughout the year and report back once they’ve been carried out.

This is the second year that Starfish scholars will complete community service initiatives. Last year’s projects included a Christmas party for neighborhood children and basic computer classes for adults in the community who didn’t know basic computer skills so that they could help their kids with homework!

Every single one of these students, last year’s and this year’s, has very good ideas, goodwill, and, most important, the initiative to help. Their commitment to making the world a better place is incredible. How come? What is their reward? The answers are very simple: every kid is motivated by great challenges, as well as the experiences they have along the way. Their biggest reward is a smile and through an activity they can experience a moment of joy and fun.

Are you inspired to make a change? How many smiles are you willing to draw?

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