Starfish mentors are a critical part of providing this comprehensive support. They get to know each Girl Pioneer, accompanying her at the familial, personal, and educational level through home visits, individual coaching sessions, and meetings with her Impact School educators. A mentor’s goal is to help each Girl Pioneer work through her emotions and teach her how to navigate challenges, while still working to achieve her goals.Read More
As MAIA Girl Pioneers blaze new trails, the support of their families is a critical part of their education and success. Throughout their lives and educational journeys, the mothers of Girl Pioneers make a significant impact on their daughters. This Mother’s Day, Girl Pioneers honored their mothers by sharing how their moms support them in their education and why they value their mother-daughter relationships.
Angélica about her mom, Paulina:
My mom supports me in different ways so that I can concentrate on my education. She is one of the people who motivates me day by day. She does everything possible so that I can do my homework. I also receive economic and moral support from her.
She is an understanding, hardworking, and unique woman. She always fights for the good of her children. She is very responsible, respectful, and humble. I value these qualities so much because I think she has taught me to be like her.
[I am proud of my mom because] despite the fact that she did not have the opportunity to go to school, she is conscious of the importance of education for us (her children).
My biggest dream for her is that she would form the habit of reading because she is someone who is fascinated by the adventures of other lives. [I also dream] that she would accomplish her dream of launching her business that will benefit other women.
Milsa about her mom, Magdalena:
My mom supports me in different ways, such as my studies. She supports me mentally because she always encourages me to continue moving forward with my studies. Sometimes when I [sleep late in the morning because I] am tired from my homework, she wakes me up. She also supports me with the breakfast and lunch that I take to school.
The things that I value about my mom are her efforts because she is always there to support me if I encounter an obstacle. I also appreciate the love that she gives me. She always says, “Things must be done calmly.” I value her words a lot because not all mothers say that. I value the work that she does to keep my family moving forward.
I feel proud to have a mother who is peaceful, responsible, and, above all, loving towards her children! I am proud to have a bold mom because if she has goals, she achieves them through a lot of dedication.
My biggest dream for my mom and her future is that she will feel proud of her daughter because she will be graduating from university and a professional. In this way, I can help take care of her and protect her. [I also dream that] she will have good health so that she will be able to live with my family for a long time.
Evelyn about her mom, Rosita:
[My mom supports me in my education with] economic support, and helping with daily problems and other academic work, even if it is helping me to paint, cut, and/or draw. Sometimes when I don’t have time to cook, she makes me something to eat and brings me atol (a traditional Guatemalan corn cider) if I am doing homework.
I value her advice, love, effort, and the support that she has always given me. Even though life can be painful; it is beautiful at my mom’s side.
I feel proud of her because she has taught me how to work and dedicate myself to my studies. Above all, [I am] proud to have an innovative, intelligent, hardworking, and entrepreneurial mom who perseveres, and it makes me happy.
How has your mother played a vital role in your life? What do you value about the mothers that you know? In honor of the important women in your life, you can support Girl Pioneers and their mothers who are helping to shape their experiences. Give today and partner with MAIA moms who are raising their daughters to be empowered leaders.
“When I first started studying, I never envisioned plans or goals for myself. I was stuck in the moment. With MAIA’s coaching, I made a life plan for myself that helped me to foresee challenges and work toward their solutions. I never imagined that going to school and becoming a teacher could help me transform my community, but now it’s happening. I used to know nothing of the outside world, and now I’m teaching social studies to young women, constantly learning from them while they learn from me.” - ChonitaRead More
When it comes to achieving gender parity, girls in Guatemala have the odds stacked against them, especially if they live in rural indigenous communities. Fortunately, the story does not end there, and Girl Pioneers are pressing for progress.Read More
Climbing San Pedro Volcano is a favorite activity among Girl Pioneers, Starfish staff, and visitors. For us, though, it is much more than a fun tradition. It symbolizes the steep climbs that Girl Pioneers encounter in their own lives and the teamwork, support network, and perseverance that help them overcome obstacles.Read More
In January 2017, we took a huge leap of faith and opened the MAIA Impact School. Over the past year, our first cohort of 47 students modeled perseverance, resilience, and the ability to adapt to a new style of teaching and learning. We want to share reflections from our staff on the successes, challenges, and lessons learned during our first year of operation.Read More
I am home after two weeks traveling in Guatemala. A year ago, when I was recovering from multiple skull surgeries, I swore that one day I would return to the land of chocolate, coffee, and cardamom, and bring people I love there with me. My doctor told me that it wasn’t a priority. But I knew that it was. I want to do what matters with people who matter to me.Read More
Starfish has never been built to serve thousands of students at one time. Our model is just too individual, too intensive. Our growth comes instead through training other organizations. Starfish is the “laboratory” to field test best practices in the rural, Mayan Guatemalan context and the RIPPLE program is our training model, sharing with others our success. Thanks to Green Mountain Coffee Foundation for their vision on this program!Read More
Starfish girl pioneers are busy! So busy, that the simple parts of being a child are often forgotten. Thankfully, Starfish volunteer, Patsy Schmitz, has been on hand to help – with ART! As a retired Spanish and Art teacher, Patsy hosts workshops on weekends free for students who want to get creative.Read More
This past month, 14 starfish graduates got together for their first ever Starfish Alumni Group Meeting! They had the opportunity to share experiences, laugh together, encourage each other, and formulate plans to reach their personal and professional goals. This new group will meet quarterly throughout the year to serve as an ongoing support to graduates as well as a place to network resourcesRead More
The newest members of Starfish joined together this week for their first mentor meeting! The girls showed up nervous, giddy, and full of excited energy. After receiving an introduction to the values and expectations of the Starfish program the girls were given the task of coming up with a name for their group. It was a big decision as this name will follow them for the next 6 years of their lives. After going through the list of possibilities that they came up with, the group decided on “Ola de Esperanzas” (Wave of Hope); a perfect name for this group of hopeful young women. Join us here as we follow their journey!
Posted on January 25, 2013
This morning we spoke with Norma Bajan, the Director of Starfish, about hopes and plans for 2013. Here is what she had to share with us:
What are some things going on at Starfish that are you excited about this year?Read More
Andrea embodies the “go get it” attitude of her hometown, Santiago Atitlan. As the largest indigenous run town in Central America, Tzutujil is spoken as a first language and Spanish is learned in schools. Andrea’s can-do spirit makes her invaluable in her role as the internship program supervisor, advocating and offering feedback for all students in this job readiness program.Read More
When Hurricane Stan hit Guatemala in 2005, it came with brutal force. The torrential rains caused landslides on the steep volcanic topography around Lake Atitlan. Maria found herself caught in a landslide.Read More
Last week, Starfish One by One held its 4th annual two-day Student Leadership Summit. The summit is a time when students from all four of Starfish sites and all the mentors and staff get together to celebrate, share, engage, and even select the Starfish “queen,” the student who best embodies the Starfish values. This year, amid all of the usual chatting, giggling, and singing, there was another sound – the crying of 15 simulation infants.Read More