The Starfish – What choice will you make today?

Date: April 22, 2010

Have you ever learned a new fact or heard a new story, and then within a short period of time, you hear it referenced multiple times?  That happened to me with The Starfish Story by Loren Eiseley.

Students at risk of not graduating from high school are like the starfish.  Some starfish are on the beach because of environmental factors like a changing tide or sudden storm.  Others become stranded because they “chose” to crawl to the beach without knowing the consequences.   A few starfish close to the water’s edge may get back to the ocean on their own, but most will wither and die without help.

Last November, I attended the America’s Promise Alliance Dropout Prevention Conference in Illinois, sponsored by State Farm Insurance , Birth2Work, and many others.  The Alliance’s mission is to unify community stakeholders to ensure every student graduates ready for college, work and life.  The statistics of America’s dropout crisis are staggering, and the future for dropouts is bleak.  Something must be done.

It is possible that some at-risk students will choose to stay or re-enroll in school on their own, but most need help.  Just like the story, one person can’t save all the starfish.  However, each of us has the ability to make a difference in the life of a single “starfish.”  And through collaboration, we can save all of them.

Every day, we are presented with a choice to help or just keep on walking past those who struggle.  What choice will you make today?


Categories: Alternative Education, Dropout Prevention & Recovery, News
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