Starfish Spotlight: Jeison and Cecilia on hobbies, family, soccer, responsibility, and continually growing.

Whether your a student or a teacher at Starfish, we know every individual has the potential for growth, and we embrace the interests, strengths, and individuality of every one of our Starfish Family.

This week we connected with Jeison, a scholar, and Cecilia, an educator, to get to know them a little better.

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Cecelia

Interviewer: Can you each introduce yourselves and tell me a little about you?
Jeison: I am 15 years old and I live in Flor de Bastión. I play a lot of sports.
Cecilia: I am an educator with the Starfish Foundation and my hobbies are definitely eating and sleeping.

Interviewer: With the quality of food and sports coming out of Ecuador, I feel like those are both very important hobbies to have. Can you tell us a little about how you like to spend your spare time?
Cecilia: I dedicate my free time to spending time with my daughter, partaking in many activities, like playing, dancing, singing etc. I also take advantage of it by sharing nice moments with my family (mom and dad), but above all I like to spend time with my husband and daughter, which are the sweetest moments of my life.
Jeison: Like you all know, here we play quite a lot of soccer and that is also my favorite sport. Near my house is a court where I play most days. Also, sometimes I practice at the Foundation where, with my classmates, we play big matches. Besides this, in my free time, I do my homework, and when it’s my time to go to the Foundation I am very happy.

Interviewer: The Foundation sounds like it has had a positive impact on your life. Can you tell me something you’ve learned from your time with Starfish?
Jeison: The most important things that I have learned at the Foundation are to respect others above everything else and to be responsible with my duties.
Interviewer: Very important life skills indeed; you sound wise for your age. Cecilia, I know you’re a teacher, but what have learned from your time with Starfish?
Cecilia: At the Foundation, I have learned different planning methods that allow me to get to know each student on an individual level. Also, I have learned to share experiences and strategies with my other coworkers in order to learn how to best teach the students.

Thanks a ton to Cecilia and Jeison for taking the time to share some of their thoughts and hobbies with us. It’s always a pleasure to get a glimpse into the daily life in Ecuador, and get to know our fellow Starfish friends a little better.

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Things I’ve Learned (Part 2)

When you talk to the students at the Starfish Foundation about what they’ve learned this year, you’ll hear everything from math to geography, the importance of plants to the finer points of accounting. They are dedicated to their work, and excited to continually learn new things through both school and the Starfish Foundation.

But in addition to the reading, writing, and arithmetic that everyone is expected to learn, the Starfish Scholars are all learning another important lesson: the importance of relationships.

“The most interesting thing that I have learned this year is the value of friendship with my classmates at the Foundation. I have also learned about many very good subjects that help me in school, such as history and language”
– Emerson, a 12 year old scholar.

Time and time again, this lesson is echoed by the students who are reflecting on their experiences with Starfish – in addition to safe place to learn and grow academically, the Starfish Foundation is fostering team building, healthy relationships, and a sense of community – something essential to emotional and mental well-being.30389139440_e827dfeb47_z

“The most important thing that I have learned this year is to be respectful with my classmates and my seniors, because it is with these people that I coexist. With respect, you can live in a good environment anywhere you go. Another very important thing that I learned is about companionship. Along with respect, fellowship is one of the values that are important to everyone and we should all try to improve.”
– Josselyn

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Milena adds, “This year, I have met many new people that have become my friends. I have had a lot of fun with these new friends doing activities that take  place at the Foundation,” showcasing how the Starfish Foundation not only brings bright young minds together, but encourages them to thrive in social spaces.

It has been proven, over and over again, that friendships are vital to learning, self-confidence, life skills, priority setting, emotional health, and empowering people of all ages to make societal changes. That our scholars are able to develop relationships, and recognize their importance, through their participation in the Starfish Foundation, is vital to their current and future happiness and success.

We close today with a Maori proverb:

“What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people”. ( He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata).

Ayudante Update from: Guasmo!

This week we get the chance to hear from our “Ayudantes” in Guasmo about the beginning of the school year there!

“During May and June, we set up a schedule with the parents to help us with snack.  So far, everyone has collaborated and the kids are satisfied with the snack they are given.

In the Starfish Foundation in Guasmo we have 2 groups:

Group 1: The students come Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.  In the morning we have 7th, 8th and 9th graders, and in the afternoon we have 10th, 11th and 12th grades.  In each group they do their homework, and during free time we do ice-breakers.  The new students and the old students get along very well, there’s a lot of friendship and everyone helps each other.

Group 2: The students come Tuesday and Friday in the morning and they are in 6th and 7th grade.  They do their homework and during free time we do ice-breakers.  The new students and the old students get along very well, there’s a lot of friendship and everyone helps each other.  They really like the ice-breakers and other activities, and they have a lot of ideas.

We also had a parents meeting to explain the new rules, values and snack system.

In the foundation, we also go on field trips, and one of those was the Integration Day when we spent a morning playing sports with the Scholars.

From,
Yuliana, Cynthia, Lissette, Betsabeth & Marcos”

Ayudante update from: Flor de Bastión!

Today our Employees or Program Leaders  (the “Ayudantes”) share with us a beautiful reflection about the beginning of the school year at our Flor de Bastión site…stay tuned next week for the Guasmo updates!

“Hi!  Here we have a very friendly environment where some of our most important values include: respect, fellowship, humility and mutual cooperation between us and the students.

We have three groups during the week, and each one is different from the others. One of these groups is the group with the youngest students, which is also our most active group.  Then we have our morning group which is a little quieter and always gives a 100% effort in their work, and lastly the second afternoon group which is a little more challenging to work with – some are quiet and others talk a lot, but all have dreams and goals to achieve!

We as employees and leaders always try to be patient and also to get to know each student better.  We share our friendship and our knowledge with them.  Even so, there are some things we are still working to improve, and every day we strive to be better.  That’s a little of what is going on at the foundation.

Peace,
Jessica, Tyrone, María, Cecilia, Kevin & Jasmin”

You might notice a new name on that list – Find out more about the newest addition to our Starfish team, Cecilia, over at our Employees page!