We provide young women with a bridge between obstacles and opportunity, by giving them the resources to overcome barriers and reach their highest potential.

    Soledad O'Brien & Brad Raymond


    I have covered the world's most devastating stories throughout my career - stories of unimaginable human hardship and loss.

    There was the father who lost his grip on his little boy in the Indonesian Tsunami and the Japanese fearful of radiation poisoning. I was haunted for years after seeing the homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. I still visit the orphaned children of the Haiti earthquake. I remember the faces of the few survivors I met and push away memories of the thousands who did not survive. There was so little I could do to help.

    Or was there? Those who dedicate themselves to rescue often tell the Starfish Story. When I heard it, it drove its way into my heart.

    Countless starfish have washed ashore on a beach and are dying off. A little boy is picking up starfish on the beach and tossing them back into the ocean in hopes they will survive. A man walks by and asks him why he is doing something so futile.

    "There are hundreds," he points out, "What difference will it make?"

    The boy then picks up a starfish, throws it into the sea and says, "It will make a difference to that one."

    I wanted to make a difference. Maybe this was the way. I had met many young women whose life plans had been stagnated by terrible disasters, compounded by generational poverty, some were just down on their luck. I could help one of them, do my part, and maybe launch a successful young woman into a brighter future. Then they could go off into the world and help others.

    Welcome to the Starfish Foundation. I hope you will join us.

    Soledad O’Brien

  • Our work is built on three pillars:


    We believe that it is critical for young women to have the educational opportunities that will allow them to reach their highest potential. This is not limited to academics, but also includes self-exploration, social skills and personal growth.


    We know that there are a myriad of obstacles that can stop a young woman from completing her education. We provide young women with a network of support to get them across the finish line.


    We challenge young women to increase the benefit of their education by bringing it back to their communities. We hope that our scholars will engender a new community of girls with big dreams and the drive to make them come true.

    Who We Are

    The Starfish Foundation exists to provide hardworking young women with the resources necessary to succeed.

    For reasons beyond their control, many young women of color from low-income families are less likely than their middle-class counterparts to attend and finish college. This makes it tough for them to get well-paying jobs, maintain healthy lifestyles and enjoy full societal and civic participation. What many of these young women do have however, is intellect, resilience and spark.

    We’re here to get these young women out of the shadows and onto the road toward their dreams.

    Our Programs


    Our core services are focused on our 25 scholars. We provide a comprehensive collection of programs and initiatives is a holistic approach designed to address the complex needs of our family of scholars. In addition to providing financial support, we focus on life skills, career readiness, and network building through mentor relationships. Our goal is to create transformational change in the individual lives of our girls.


    What we learn from our core students, we bring to a broader audience through our PowHERful Summit. It is a full day of empowerment with an emphasis on educational, professional, and personal development for high school and college-aged women. Industry experts present curriculum in the areas of finance/debt management, networking, STEM careers, technology and more. Morning and afternoon keynotes by inspiring leaders are a highlight. We maintain contact with PowHERful participants through bimonthly Google hangouts.


    We provide young women with a bridge between obstacles and opportunity, by giving them the resources to overcome barriers and reach their highest potential.

    Transforming lives — one girl at a time.

    Board of Directors

    Kimberly Arp Babbit



    Kim Bondy

    Executive Producer,

    Al Jazeera America

    Jay Kriegel

    Senior Advisor,

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