Starfish is a living wage and career path focused mentorship program that small businesses can adopt in order to give back to the young adults in their community. This program was inspired by my aunt, who has worked closely with highschool students in her community. She noticed some of the students were ambitious, but didn’t have a plan after high school graduation. After speaking to one girl, my aunt realized the girl wanted to go to college, but for various reasons, she didn’t feel higher education was plausible. Her parents hardly ever talked to her about college, and she wasn’t sure how she would even pay for the applications, let alone tuition. My aunt volunteered to guide her through the application process and helped her to explore options for tuition. My aunt plans to continue her work with young adults by hiring them at her bakery while also providing college and career path guidance.
This thesis is inspired by my aunt’s generosity, and small business plans. Starfish provides the resources for small businesses in any community to hire a young adult in need of career guidance, while also getting certification for paying a fair and living wage. In this way, small businesses can make a big difference in an individual’s life.