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August 28, 2013

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August 28, 2013

My husband and I made our first trip to Guatemala in February 2013 to visit Starfish one by one, I can say that we were blown away. We visited classrooms and were delighted at the quality of the education, mentoring and interaction between the young ladies. Home visits made us realize that these girls would not have an opportunity for education without help. The barriers of illiteracy, remoteness, language and discrimination are insurmountable for these beautiful women.
I am convinced with the help of the mentoring and support received from Starfish, these ladies can lead the way for their families, sisters for years to come.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I feel that the quality of this organization is unmatched.

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Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

May 11, 2012

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May 11, 2012

My Rotary club is currently working with Starfish to support a group of girls in a mentor circle. From the first time we connected with Starfish, we have been so impressed by their mission, organization and communication. The structure of their program is built for sustainability and long-term success for the girls that they support. In addition, a group of our members visited Guatemala and our sponsor group in March of this year. The trip was truly life-changing for our travelers. We had the opportunity to get to know the Starfish team in Guatemala, interact with families and get a true picture of the challenges that families face. We also got to see the true benefit of this program first hand. I consider it a true honor to work with this organization and will tell anyone who will listen all about it!

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Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 24, 2010

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November 24, 2010

A kind group of people with a purpose that makes a big difference. Connects donors to recipients with personal letters, pictures and drawings. Great for my children to have these to make the connection.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

US and Guatemala

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

none

August 18, 2010

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August 18, 2010

Starfish One-by-One supports the education and empowerment of young girls in rural Guatemala to break the cycle of poverty and contribute to their families and communities. They provide scholarships so that girls can continue their education in high school and give them mentors from the community. The girls meet with their mentors once a week and receive training on a number of subjects, including job skills, handling money, and running a business. I was able to spend a day with a group of girls in Panajachel, Guatemala, and their dedicated mentors. There is no doubt that these girls have overcome difficult circumstances and made sacrifices to continue their education. They are dedicated to their studies and so eager to learn; it is so inspirational to see how they have been empowered by their mentors. The mentors I spoke with hope to inspire and empower the girls become active and outspoken in their communities so that they can become agents of social change. The girls took turns explaining how different their lives are now that they have been able to continue their education. Reina started and said that before receiving a scholarship, she never spoke up in class. She was shy and intimidated. Now, she regularly participates in class and has become active in her community. She discovered her love of singing, and her new-found confidence shone through as she proudly displayed to me the scarves and shirts she made for her family. She hopes to graduate from high school, attend a university and pursue a career that will allow her to help her family and her community. Rosa is the first person, male or female, in her family to attend school past primary school, and is now tutoring a group of children from her community in Spanish. My experience with Starfish One-by-One was truly unforgettable. These girls have become inspired and now empowered to know that they can make a difference in their communities.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen first-hand how this program affects the lives of these young women. They have been empowered and inspired to participate in their communities.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

everyone I have met, volunteers and the women in the program, are so dedicated. It is truly inspiring to see a program actually making a difference!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach so many more young women and help provide them with the education necessary to make a difference in their communities.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 10, 2010

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June 10, 2010

I had the pleasure of being hired to produce a short promotional film for Starfish One by One on location in Guatemala. It was the most rewarding experience of my working life, and one I will never forget. The organization is doing great work with an inspiring group of young people. I hope they can continue to offer support, and grow as an organization, helping more young people get the education they rightly deserve. Thanks to everyone at Starfish and good luck to all of the students!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

spending time with some of the young people they have helped and witnessing the profound impact it has had on their own lives, and their families.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

June 1, 2010

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June 1, 2010

I first heard of the Starfish program from a friend who serves on the Board and immediately loved the concept of the work being done by this organization. Then, I visited Guatemala myself and met some of the girls (including the one I get to sponsor), as well as their in-country mentors, parents and siblings. After that first-hand experience, I am blown away by the difference Starfish is making in the lives of these children, their family and the greater community. The Mentorship Program enhances their current public education, offers them the skills of clear communication, sound judgement and self esteem. The difference made to one child's life in this program is truly amazing, and ripples through the family and community. I highly recommend getting involved with Starfish in any capacity you desire. In addition to making a difference in a child's life, you will gain much personally.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

visiting family homes for several girls in the program and seeing the hope and love in their parents' faces.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 28, 2010

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May 28, 2010

Starfish One by One demonstrates a continual focus on quality over quantity. Through its unique blend of scholarship and mentorship, it really does promote and develop leaders that will change the landscape of their communities. I have been impressed by the dedication and heartfelt expertise of the Guatemalan staff.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my firsthand observations of various young women's homes and in their peer support groups.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 28, 2010

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May 28, 2010

Starfish is truly unique! I was glad to support the program to provide mentorship and education to girls from rural areas to enrich their lives knowing they may not otherwise be able to continue their education. It was comforting to exchange letters with Brenda, the girl I sponsor … then I made the trip to Guatemala to witness firsthand the change Starfish is making in the lives of these girls. We first attended a mentoring and education class. The class focused on the value of family. Each of us were asked to speak to our family circumstances, siblings, parents, lifestyle, etc. I was in awe to find out that everyone of the girls in the class were dedicated to coming to class, despite the poverty and need for their help at home. This program gives them hope for change and encourages them to dream. I was struck to learn that everyone in the class was the child of two illiterate parents, most of whom don’t speak Spanish but only their native language. It was this moment when I realized the potential that Starfish offers these girls … how does one escape poverty under these circumstances? Starfish truly changes one life at a time. I suggest volunteering time to witness it first hand, meet the girls and wonderful contributors to the program, and experience the natural beauty of Guatemala!

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Guatemala by volunteering, participating in home visits and the mentoring program. Wow!

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the ability to experience the program first hand. Meet my sponsored girl, attend the education and mentoring program, home visits and better understand the challenges and the work they do.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

open and encouraging!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the lives of thousands of young women ... each then in turn impacting another!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

May 26, 2010

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May 26, 2010

This is a fabulous organization that helps educate young Mayan girls that show great promise for continuing their education after public school ends at a young age. The mentors for the girls are Mayan women who discuss life skills + school work, etc. It is very exciting to see the change that takes place in their self esteem, etc. after just one year in the Starfish program. Before the girls are enrolled in the program, there are in depth interviews with the families to ensure the parents' full support for educating their daughters.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I mentioned the changes in the girls' presence, etc. in the above paragraph. The organization is promoting so much promise for helping these young women to live full and fulfilling lives as adults.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

All of the folks involved are exceptional people - full of love and understanding.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

enthusiastic and compassionate

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make a much greater impact on the lives of young Mayan girls and boys

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

May 24, 2010

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May 24, 2010

I firmly believe that education is the key to changing lives. Starfish offers that possibility for Mayan girls and boys who would otherwise not have an opportunity to continue past grade school. I personally support 4 children and receive letters from them with explanations of their family and school lives that also include charming drawings. My most recent letters speak of job goals( for example, Victor wants to be a skilled accountant) and I hear increasing levels of confidence in their voices. I am so uplifted by what the mentors and students do together. One example is a field trip students took to a museum in Guatemala City. This is a common occurrence for students in our country but not so in rural Guatemala. Just the experience of being on a bus riding to the city was educational. Imagine what they saw and learned at the national museum! In my opinion the linch pin in this organization is the indigenous mentors and the help, love and guidance they give to their small groups of students weekly. They give that helping hand of friendship and hope to these wonderful children and enable these kids to believe in themselves. I think so highly of Starfish One by One that I am now on the advisory board. I encourage others to support this wonderful organization that offers a hand up and not hand out. One of my favorite expressions comes from Thornton Wilder who said " Money is like manure. It doesn't do much good unless it is spread around for young things to grow."

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

in the letters I mentioned above and the stories from the mentors regarding school successes and self esteem development.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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