A Day in the Life of a Starfish Scholar

Ever wonder what a typical day is like for one of our Starfish Scholars? Well… we asked and they answered:

 

Juleysi, age 12:juleesi.jpg

Right after my school day ends, I return home, hand in hand with either my mom or my dad, who come to pick me up from school. I attend the Starfish Foundation but when I do not have to go, I do a lot of housework with my mom. I love music and during the day I listen to music, even when I do homework. Also, I like to read and on occasion, I’ll go out and play with my friends who are very fun, after I’ve finished my homework.

Leonardo

Leonardo, 10th grade:

When I have free time, I spend it at home, listening to music. I like reggaeton music and watching TV programs. The coolest thing that I do during my free time is play soccer. I really like playing soccer. Last year, I was even part of a soccer training group at the Foundation.

 

Milena

Milena, age 14:

When it comes to my hobbies, I always mention that I like to sing, dance, chat, and listen to music. These are the things that I do when I don’t have homework and the days when I don’t go to the Foundation.

 

Ponce_Emerson_carnet_2017Emerson, age 12:

When I am not in school, I have a great time with my friends, playing soccer, freeze tag, and many other games. Also, my friends and I like to sing, dance, jump, etc. We have a lot of fun like this.

 

 

josselyn.jpg

Josselyn, age 14:

When I get out of school and arrive at home, the first thing that I do is quickly go to see my youngest little sister. I am the oldest of three siblings. At home, when I have free time, I spend it watching TV, chatting, and sometimes I get hungry so I go to eat something. I also play soccer with my neighborhood friends.

 

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Julio Ponce: 2017 Graduate

26190743582_3eedcd05ef_bGraduation is always a time for celebration, reflections, and looking ahead. This week, I had a conversation with Julio Ponce about his education thus far, what might be next, and the people who inspire him to dream big.

Are you going to attend college? And, if you are going to attend, what do you want to study?
Julio: I plan to go to university to study architecture or nursing.

What are some of the most important moments you remember from school – your favorite memories?
Julio: The most important times were spending time with my friends. The most unforgettable date was when I took part in the flag ceremony.

What are some goals that you have for your experience and studies at university?
Julio: My goal is to get a degree in architecture and to create a building that is well known.

Is there a person who inspires you?
Julio: The person who inspires me is my mom since she has always worked hard for me. Now it is my turn to work hard for her.

Have you changed during your time at school?
Julio: Yes, I change my habits at school; now I’m more responsible. I’ve also learned to express myself and am comfortable speaking in front of the other people on various subjects.

How did you discover and develop your talents and skills during school?
Julio: I already had the talent but the more time I spent at school, the more those talents developed. I found I was also able to teach certain skills to my classmates and teachers.

What do you expect to achieve over the next five years?
Julio: Get a university degree and share it with my family so I can help others.

If you could change one thing about your educational experience so far, what would it be?
Julio: I would not change anything because what I’ve learned in school will help me in my life.

Wow! Now that’s a smart and highly motivated Starfish! With this kind of thinking, motivation, and desire to succeed, we know Julio will achieve great things.

“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Interview with a Graduate: Joselyn Calle

29333905716_08584a97de_zSwam on down to Ecuador this week to connect with one of our 2017 graduates – Joselyn Calle. We chatted about memories from the past and dreams for the future. 

Are you going to attend college? And, if you are going to attend, what do you want to study?

Joselyn: If I go to college I would like to pursue law degree.

What are some of the most important moments you remember from school – your favorite memories?

Joselyn: Getting together with my classmates. To have shared many experiences and anecdotes that in the future will tell my children about.  

What are your expectations for your university experiences?

Joselyn: I think my goals and experiences at university will be nice and satisfying.

Is there a person who inspires you? If so, why?

Joselyn: The people who inspire me are very special in my life. They have given me support and trust, which inspires me.

Have you changed during your time at school?

Joselyn: Yes, I have noticed some changes in myself. I have become more responsible, my skills have grown which makes me proud because I feel that I am a very capable person.  

Calle Joseline-2017What talents and skills did you discover or develop at school?

Joselyn: My skills and talents are unique, I believe I’m a woman who is very capable of doing different things. I do not have a specific talent but I feel that I am able to fulfill my dreams and goals.

What do you hope to achieve over the next five years?

Joselyn: To have accomplished my goals and continue with my professional career.

 

If you could change one thing about your educational experience would it be?

Joselyn: My educational experience was very pleasant, so I would not change anything. They are anecdotes in my life which give me many examples, so I would not change anything.

Thanks Joselyn! And congratulations of your graduation. We know your future is bright and full of wonderful experiences. 

Hugs!
Henry

 

¿Vas a asistir a la universidad? Y, si vas a asistir, ¿qué quieres estudiar?

Si voy asistir y me gustaría seguir la carrera leyes

¿Qué son unos momentos más importantes que recuerdas del colegio- tus memorias favoritas?

Si voy a las reuniones con mis compañeros. Haber compartido muchas experiencias y anécdotas que en algún futuro serán contadas a mis hijos

¿Qué son unas metas que tienes para tu experiencia y estudias en la universidad?

Mis metas y mis experiencias para la universidad pensar que voy hacer sean agradables y satisfactoria

¿Hay una persona que te inspira? Si hay ¿Por qué?

La persona que me inspira es muy especial en mi vida la cual me ha brindado su apoyo y confianza por esa razón es una inspiración para mí

¿Has cambiado durante tu tiempo en el colegio?

Sí, he notado algunos cambios en mi me he vuelto más responsable mis capacidades han aumentado lo cual me enorgullece porque siento que soy una persona muy capas

¿Cómo descubriste tu talento y tus habilidades en el colegio?

Mis habilidades y talentos son únicos yo me creo una mujer súper que capaz de realizar diversas cosas no tengo un talento en específico pero si recomiendo que soy capaz de cumplir mis sueños y metas propuestas

¿Qué esperas lograr durante los próximos cincos años?

Haber culminado a seguir con mi carrera profesional

¿Si pudieras cambiar una cosa sobre tu experiencia educativa que sería?

Mi experiencia educativa fue muy agradable por lo cual no cambiaría nada ya que son anécdotas en mi vida la cual me dan muchos ejemplo por  lo cual yo no cambiaría nada

Interview with Lucy Vargas, Starfish Student

Hello again and welcome to the month of March! This week, my travels to Ecuador led me to an interview with Lucy Vargas, one of our very own Starfish Foundation students. I love discussing a wide range of topics with our students, but this week I decided to discuss the future with Lucy.

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-9-26-38-pmI asked Lucy to tell me what she wants to be when she grows up. Being a very dedicated and determined student, Lucy replied, “My dream is to be a Commercial Engineer when I grow up. However, there are also other careers that I am interested in, like being a veterinarian or a pediatrician. I know that these are three careers that demand effort and dedication. Nevertheless, I will try very hard in order to achieve my goals.” I was instantly impressed with Lucy’s answer and had to know more!

Lucy told me that she has different reasons she is drawn to each of these careers, but that, “behind each of these careers is something that inspires me.” When it comes to commercial engineering she said, “Commercial Engineering fascinates me a lot because my dad worked in a company alongside other engineers. Their goal was to design homes that would later be built, in which several people would be able to live.” I loved Lucy’s enthusiasm to not only design buildings and homes, but to help the people who would live in those homes.

Lucy’s passion for helping didn’t stop there. Her reasons behind becoming a veterinarian or a pediatrician are both based on her desire to help living creatures. “I like the idea of being a veterinarian, because I love animals, especially dogs. In fact, I have a dog named Tobby, who is brown and white and handsome. Finally, being a pediatrician appeals to me because children are my inspiration. They are like little angels. I have two little siblings, who I consider to be little angels sent by God to brighten up my family.”

Thank you again for the great chat, Lucy! Everyone at Starfish is so proud of you and we can’t wait to see what your future holds, either as a commercial engineer, as a veterinarian, as a pediatrician or even something else!

xx
Henry

Original Interview:

“Yo de grande quiero ser una profesional de Ingeniería Comercial. Sin embargo, también me gustaría estudiar otras carreras como veterinaria y pediatría. Se que son tres carreras que exigen esfuerzo y dedicación. No obstante, me esforzaré mucho por conseguir mis metas.

Detrás de cada una de las carreras que pienso seguir, hay algo que me inspira. Por ejemplo, de Ingeniería Comercial me fascina mucho porque mi papá trabajó en una compañía junto con otros ingenieros que se trazaron como meta construir viviendas para que puedan vivir algunas personas.

Veterinaria me gusta también porque me encantan los animales y en especial a los perros. De hecho yo tengo uno que es hermoso de color café y blanco y se llama Tobby.

Finalmente, Pediatría porque los niños son mi inspiración. Ellos son como unos angelitos. Yo tengo 2 hermanitos. Considero que son unos angelitos enviados de Dios para alegrar a mi familia.”

Senior Project Check-In: Ruddy Figueroa

Hi everyone! This past week I decided to check in on some of our senior students. As they enter the halfway point of their final year, a lot of them are making great progress on their Graduation Projects! So, I met up with one of our students, Ruddy Figueroa to discuss the theme and status of her project, both before and after she accomplished it!

screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-10-53-39-amWhen I met with Ruddy a couple of months ago, the first thing I asked of her was to give a little introduction and description of her project. Ruddy told me that her project, “consists of hosting a little Christmas party for the boys and girls of my neighborhood: Guasmo Sur Coop. Julio Potes Jiménez, in the city of Guayaquil, based on the needs and scarce economic resources of the families who live in the area.” I was immediately intrigued, as this project sounded like a success already!

But, I wasn’t only impressed with the the project itself, I was impressed with Ruddy’s reasoning behind it. She said, “these families are made up of little kids that often can’t receive any gifts from their parents because of their financial situation. I want to organize this party to help and contribute to the happiness that doing community service generates.” Ruddy continued by telling me how she was going to achieve this goal. “I’ve decided to do a few different activities in order to be able to complete my project on time, including sending letters asking for donations and collaboration. I won’t need a building for the event because I plan to do it outside on a street with low a low volume of traffic. For my project I have the help of several community members who are available to help and collaborate.”

Flash forward to a week ago, and it was time for me to follow-up with Ruddy after she accomplished her Christmas party. I asked Ruddy to reflect on the project and let us know how she achieved her goal and how it made her feel. First, Ruddy said,

          “Not long ago, we started to work on a project, supervised by our foundation, the Starfish Foundation. In this project, many people close to me got involved. These people, in addition to my parents, helped me so that my idea could become a reality. Really, we started this project without knowing a lot about how to do this, but so many people were willing to help. Once we saw how abundant the help was, we decided to make the event even bigger.
When I sent letters to businesses, I received overwhelming and encouraging responses. This motivated me to keep moving forward with the idea to make the event bigger and reach out to more children than I had planned for in my project. The toys came in by the hundreds. I never thought that I would receive so much help. It really outdid my expectations.
The happiness kept growing when my classmates at Starfish offered to help me with the face painting activities for the children. Furthermore, around 250 children were able to receive gifts, and this included the younger brothers and sisters of my classmates from Starfish. I must admit, it was tiring and hard work, but the feeling of being able to was very comforting.
I also had the support of a school from my area, the “Escuela Fiscal Mixta Blanca Goetta de Ordoñez”. They lent me chairs, even though since we had a lot of children we still needed more chairs! In spite of this small challenge, the kids had a great night and had lots of fun with the activities we prepared for them. The skills of many were of great help to me in setting up the decorations for the party. My neighbors also helped me by lending me some lights, and my dad helped me to install them, so that the area was well lit for the event.”

It was so great to hear how many people and organizations were willing to chip in to help Ruddy with her party. She was so appreciative of their support and said, “That same night, at the end of the event, those who helped me with the party came over to my house where I had also prepared a meal for them to thank them for their enthusiastic efforts in making this event a success.” Well done Ruddy! Lastly, I asked her for one final thought on both the party and the project. Ruddy said, “There are so many ways to help someone who needs it, and so many ways that we can collaborate to help.”

I am so proud of Ruddy and all of our Starfish students!

Until next time,
Henry

We Asked; They Answered: Favorite School Subjects

Hi all,

Happy December! This week I floated on over to Ecuador to ask some of our scholars “¿Cuál es tu materia favorita y por que?” so they could let us know about their favorite subjects and why.

Joselyn is a huge fan of Language Arts. When I asked why, she said:

“I like it because it teaches us how to express ourselves and not be afraid in to speak in front of others. In my school my Language teacher always asks us to summarize what we understood from the lecture; we also act out legends or real life stories.

This subject is really important for us because we learn to express ourselves and be well spoken when it’s our turn to speak.

Joselyn also talked about the importance of speaking well to provide examples for others. “Nowadays there are many people who use language incorrectly, especially in certain neighborhoods.” When children hear this, they pick up bad habits and start speaking the same way. “So let’s be conscious of that and be part of the change!” she encourages.

Bryan is also partial to Language Arts. “I think it teaches us a lot of things, such as how to express ourselves, how to develop skills like spelling, speaking, and calligraphy.”

Bryan also thinks this subject is important because he hopes to grow up to be like one of his idols, Eugenio Espejo. “Why like Eugenio Espejo? Because he was a great Literature writer, and he could always perform well in every field he practiced because he was a well educated and prominent person.” Bryan also hopes to make his mother proud by meeting each of the goals he sets for himself. Studying literature helps bring him closer to meeting his goals.

eugenioFun Fact: Eugenio Espejo was a writer, lawyer, and medical pioneer from Ecuador. He was Quito’s first journalist and hygienist.
You can read a full bio here in English
Or here in Spanish 

Geovanny’s favorite subject is English. He likes the subject because he finds it interesting and hopes to speak the language fluently some day. Sometimes reaching that goal is hard, and his advice for anyone who is struggling with a subject is “to continue studying, and find something that motivates you. My family motivates me because it is because of them that I am going to graduate, and be able to help them.”

As always, it’s a treat to check in with our scholars. I hope to see you all again next week!

Until then,
Henry

Starfish Scholars: Dreams and Goals for the Future

Hello all, Henry here! Thank you to those of you who joined us earlier this month for the #StarfishSearch Scavenger Hunt. I loved seeing all your pictures and videos, and sharing in your day as you completed random acts of kindness and completed fun tasks. You guys sure made me smile! Check back next week for a review – complete with pictures and videos from the hunt!

This week, I also had the chance to connect with some of our Starfish Scholars about their life goals – where they hope to be in a few years, and what would make them feel successful, and now I’m here to share their stories with you.

First I connected with Melissa who wants to go into the medical field when she’s older. She is inspired by the people she met in her life and the struggles they faced:

28744235494_043e01c534_z“When I was ten years old I would see many sick people and many of them died due to some severe illness. This inspired me and I decided I would be a nurse or a doctor in order to cure all of the sick, and in this way find a cure for all of the illnesses and reduce the mortality rate of the country. I want to be a nurse or doctor recognized at the international level, with cures for all types of illnesses including AIDS, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

I don’t want to give treatments, but instead provide cures, because it saddens me that people die. I am scared of death. I would not like to die. I eat well and stay healthy in order to not contract any fatal illness. I invite you all to take care of yourselves each day. Life is not a game, it is a gift from God and only He can fix it.”

 

What an amazing goal Melissa! I know with your hard work and dedication to the cause, you’ll go far in changing to bringing good health to those around you.

Next up, I met up with Geovanny. He sees himself as a police commander in five years. Why? “To help my family,” he explains simply. We know he’ll do his part to make the world, and his community, a safer place.

Milena has different plans. In five years she hopes to be a flight attendant:

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“I imagine myself in 5 years finishing school, graduating with all my classmates, my parents would be happy, going to university, picking a profession that allows me to be a flight attendant, this will help us see how God’s timing is perfect.”

 

 

 

My last stop on this trip was with Detsy. She has a love for children and hopes to serve them through the field of pediatrics:

29259512842_b4bed2d51f_m.jpg

When I grow up I would like to be a professional in the area of pediatrics. Since I was little I have always liked children; I always considered that they are the ones that need care and attention, and because of that I would like to be a great doctor.

I know that to be able to accomplish my goals I should focus on my studies. Right now I’m still in high school and have a few years left before I can graduate. For now I will dedicate myself fully to my studies so that I don’t have obstacles and I can achieve the goals that I’ve set.

I know that a pediatric degree requires a lot of dedication, because it’s a degree that demands a lot of time and effort, but with the help of my parents, professors and my own commitment, I will be able to become a great pediatrician.

I just love young people with BIG goals, BIG dreams, and BIG plans, and I know with commitment to education, hard work, and the support of the people around you, anyone can do BIG things. The four students, along with the rest of the Starfish Scholars will go on to do great things.

What greatness do you hope to accomplish in life? I’d love to hear from you!

All my best,
Henry

Meet the Students: Parte Ocho – El Fin

With this last post, you’ve now met all of this year’s new students.  These 24 new Scholars join 17 returning scholars and almost 100 new tutoring students.  We are so excited about the growth of Starfish, and also of each one of our students who has made the choice to make education a priority!

Andreina

Hi my name is Andreina.  I am 13 years old.  I study at “Antonio Jose de Sucre” high school.  I like to sing, dance and play soccer.  My goals for this year are to get good grades and pass 8th grade.  When I’m older I want to be a secretary.
Genesis

My name is Genesis.  My goals for this year are to get good grades and pass 10th grade.  Above is a picture of Genesis with 2013 Starfish volunteer, Maria.
Yesenia

           

Hi, my name is Yesenia.  I like to listen to music, dance, study, and swim.  I am 13 years old.  I go to “Aurora Estrada” high school.  It’s going really well, I like my school.  I am in 8thgrade.  My goals are to finish my studies and be a great professional so that I can help my family, especially my brother. 

Meet the Students: Parte Siete

In this week’s Meet the Students, meet newcomer to Flor de Bastión – Jordy, as well as tutoring students Michelle from Flor and Nery from Guasmo that earned their scholarship this past year 🙂

Jordy

My name is Jordy.  I am 14 years old.  I am in 9th grade.  I go to “Transito Amaguana” high school.  I play a lot of soccer.  I like the colors gold, silver, black and white.  My favorite food is baked chicken with salad.  When I’m older I want to be a plastic surgeon. I’d like to have my own family, house and car.



Michelle


My name is Kerly, but most people call me Michelle.  I am 12 years old, my birthday is May 9.  I am studying at “Martha Bucaram de Roldos” high school.  I am in 7th grade.  I like to listen to music.  My favorite music is bachata.  I have 4 sisters and 1 brother.  My favorite subject is Computer and Physical Education.  My favorite food is rice with mashed potatoes and meat.  My favorite fruit is achotillo. When I’m older I want to be a doctor. 


Nery

My name is Nery.  My goals for this year are to get the best grades and to be a good students, but also a good person.  For me, my family is really special and beautiful.

Meet the Students: Parte Seis

These three all-stars all participated in our tutoring program in Flor de Bastión last year, as some of our youngest students.  Juliana was even one of our overall leaders on our star chart!  They all worked so hard, and we are so blessed to have them as Scholarship students this year!

Juliana

  

My name is Juliana.  I am 12 years old and I study at “Agustin Castro Espinoza” high school.  I like the color blue and my favorite soccer team is Emelec.  I have 5 siblings – 4 sisters and 1 brother.  My favorite fruit is strawberry.  My birthday is January 10.  I like math and science.  When I’m older I want to be a doctor.


Anthony

  

Hi my name is Anthony.  I like rice & chicken.  I go to “Agustin Castro Espinoza” high school.  I am in 7th grade and my classroom’s on the first floor.  My favorite subject is Science.  In my free time I like to watch TV and help my dad with his work.  I am 13 years old and my birthday is March 23rd.

Betsy

 

My name is Betsy.  I am 12 years old and I study at “Humberto” high school.  I am in 7th grade.  My favorite food is encebollado.  My birthday is April 17.  In my free time I like to cook, watch TV and movies.  I also like to listen to music.  My favorite music are ballads, vallenatos and bachata.  My favorite singers are Romeo Santos and Prince Royce.