Starfish is among the few organizations that is led and run by indigenous staff (Starfish in Guatemala is 85 percent female and 90 percent indigenous) from the same communities we serve. As outliers themselves, Starfish mentors and coaches are uniquely qualified to guide Girl Pioneers as they embark on new trajectories. All Starfish staff are at or beyond the university level, and all are the most educated members of their own families. As women from the same villages and Mayan communities as the Girl Pioneers and families, Starfish staff model and foster the same resiliency and growth-mindset necessary to become powerful agents of change.
Through combining powerful innovation with cultural attunement and empathy, the Starfish program overcomes lasting paradigms of exclusion. Each year, Starfish staff receive hundreds of hours of training from international experts and thought-leaders. This content is then contextualized to fit the needs of rural, Mayan young women. These partnerships have been crucial in propelling Starfish’s success and bolstering our intentional organizational culture.