MISSION & VISION
Starfish Learning Center opened in February 1997 in the home of Jerry and April Bailey with two computers and one student who needed help with reading. Word of our after-school center spread quickly and by May, just three months later, enrollment had reached 60! Located in the “North of Howard” neighborhood of east Rogers Park in Chicago, Starfish caters to children exposed to gangs, drug activity, and crime on a daily basis. In addition to educational support services, we began to offer positive activities and programs some evenings and weekends to keep the kids off the streets.
Today, Starfish serves about students through homework assistance, a computer lab, a children’s library, games and contests, daily Bible study and prayer, educational outings, summer camp and trips, special events, performing arts workshops, and more.
Our goal is breaking the cycle of poverty and violence so prevalent in the neighborhood.
OUR CORE VALUES
Susan has served at Starfish since 2009. She has a passion for showing youth God’s love, and manages the administrative end of things at the center.
Josh has served Starfish since 2016 in various capacities. He has a passion for urban ministry while helping with various administration tasks.
Interim Program Director
Dorell has been part of the Starfish family since he was six years old. He knows all the kids and the neighborhood and loves to make a difference in their lives.
Atira is a student at DePaul University. She’s passionate about educating inner city youth and making their lives better.
Peter is currently taking classes at Moody Bible Institute. He is passionate about reaching inner city youth with the love of Christ.
Sydney is a student of Indiana University where she is studying social work. This semester she is doing an internship at Starfish, which consists of her helping staff with tasks, the kids with tutoring and activities, and learning the ins and outs of running a non-profit organization.
Starfish Board of Directors
Director of Operations,
North Park Friendship Center
Teacher, Instituto Health Science Career Academy
Controller, Nash Brothers Construction Co., Inc.; Certified Public Accountant, James R. Gardner CPA, Inc.