Founded in 2001 the Orphaned Starfish (OSF) is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3, dedicated to serving orphans, victims of abuse and trafficking, indigenous children, refugees, and children, youth, and young adults living in poverty. Throughout its nearly 20-year history, the organization has made a difference in the lives of 15,000 children and youth around the world in 29 countries ranging in age from toddlers to young adults. Through programs and services in technology-based education, job training, job placement assistance, and scholarship support, Orphaned Starfish supports the enhancement of vocational and life skills necessary for adulthood, thus focused on ending the cycles of poverty and a... read more Founded in 2001 the Orphaned Starfish (OSF) is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3, dedicated to serving orphans, victims of abuse and trafficking, indigenous children, refugees, and children, youth, and young adults living in poverty. Throughout its nearly 20-year history, the organization has made a difference in the lives of 15,000 children and youth around the world in 29 countries ranging in age from toddlers to young adults. Through programs and services in technology-based education, job training, job placement assistance, and scholarship support, Orphaned Starfish supports the enhancement of vocational and life skills necessary for adulthood, thus focused on ending the cycles of poverty and abuse. Administratively located in New York City, the organization has become a cornerstone in the community it serves. Technology-based education was initially created to serve orphaned girls who were victims of abuse in Santiago, Chile. At the age of eighteen, girls who lived in an orphanage, which was their only source of support and stability, were required by the government to leave the orphanage. With limited education and a lack of job prospects, almost all fell victim to human traffickers, became sex workers, or were forced to live on the streets within a year of leaving the orphanage. OSF was founded to allocate the resources needed to build and operate a state-of-the-art computer center that provided girls with education and training in basic computer skills so they had the option to pursue higher education or attain employment of their choice. In the 18 years since we built our first computer learning center in Chile, 99% of this program's participants have gone on to university, attained employment, or started a family. Following the success of our first program, OSF expanded throughout South America, and is also in Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, and most recently the United States. In the United States, we've found the most urgent need and the greatest opportunity for positive impact among young people who live on Native American Reservations. According to the Federal Communications Commission, fewer than 10% percent of homes on tribal lands have access to broadband internet. In comparison, a study by The U.S. Department of Commerce found that more than 50% of African Americans and Latinos and roughly 75% of whites have high-speed internet in their homes. This disparity of access has contributed to Native Americans lagging behind their peers in higher education and job attainment. Ultimately, we are aiming to work with communities and educators to ensure that every learner-no matter where they live, what their life experiences have been, or how much money they have-has the agency, resources and support to succeed in the 21st century society and economy. According to UNICEF there were 140 million orphans globally in 2015. In 2014, one billion children aged 2-17 experienced abuse(World Health Organization). Of the estimated 24.9 million people that are victims of human trafficking worldwide, 28% are under the age of 18 (UN: Global Report on Trafficking in Person). Additionally, 400 million children throughout the world live in extreme poverty (Children International). Our project could not possibly serve all of these indigent and exploited children, but we have the ability to help many to thrive despite their circumstances. We bring our Technology Centers to organizations such as orphanages, transitional homes, and community centers that provide for the basic needs of these children but are unable to adequately prepare them for life outside of the institution. Orphaned, abused, trafficked, and impoverished children need resources and support to help them overcome their circumstances and become thriving adults. Unfortunately, according to UNESCO, only 40% of all children in low-and middle-income countries are likely to develop the skills that are required for the modern workforce, and "without action to give young people the education and skills they need to compete, more than a quarter of the population in low-income countries could still be living in extreme poverty in 2050." At OSF, we believe that the best way to help at-risk youth around the world is to empower them to learn skills that will help them further their education, obtain employment, gain financial and social independence, and thrive as adult community members. OSF's direct service makes a profound impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable and under-resourced populations on Earth. The following are the programs & services offered: OSF develops its Technology Centers in partnership with local community-based organizations including orphanages, transitional homes, and community centers, to tailor our programs to the specific needs of that student population as indigenous communities vary not only culturally, but also in their approach to technology, literacy and literacy demands in their work and life, and in their norms, mores, and social organization. We provide all hardware, software, desks, and furniture, and we commit to support the operating budget of each program for life, including teacher and site director salaries, supplies, computer maintenance, additional software, and eventual replacement of computers. Working with local leaders in the community as site directors, computer teachers, English teachers and program staff, OSF provides training in computer basics, Microsoft Office, the internet, robotics, 3-D printing, programming, web design, English language, and other subjects of interest by the people being served. Through Job Training, student participants in OSF are able to take advantage of anticipated local job openings, earn professional certifications, and secure salaried positions and/or college placements. Peripherally borne out of and connected to the technology center, this program introduces youth to integral, soft-skill components that help them become working professionals including: teamwork, flexibility, communication, and time management, prioritizing demands, balancing a weekly schedule, and learning to adjust during challenging work scenarios. Job Placement Assistance refines their resumes and interviewing skills while preparing for employment. Youth also work with all teachers to locate additional training opportunities to begin the trajectory of their earning potential. Once connected to employment or additional training, we continue to work with the individual providing career counseling and other supportive services to aid in their professional growth and ensure employment retention. Additionally, OSF provides scholarships to students by making payment to schools on their behalf of the students continuing their education. Ninety percent of OSF participants who graduate from our programs attend accredited schools. Of that, 59% attend their local university, 22% receive full-time employment, 9% receive part-time employment, and 10% other move on Students are selected based on academic performance, recommendations, financial need, and review of scholarship profile. English Classes Focus is given to basic, intermediate, and conversational English. Basic lessons include greetings, the alphabet, colors, body parts, animals, countries and nationalities, adjectives, and seasons. Lessons are progressive and support students in mastering a strong English language foundation by coordinating the skills of reading, listening, pronouncing, writing, grammar, and speaking. Student presentations are incorporated into programming that enables the ongoing practice of putting all these skills to use. Focus is given to the practice of speaking English with a concentration on the development of students at their own pace. IT Classes In alignment with the school's informatics educational curriculum, the activities developed with early childhood education students' target fluency in the following skills, and content: Motor coordination, attention and concentration Motor vision control Familiarization with the equipment and software Visual perception: identification of color, shape, size, position, count, sequence and other elements Spatial organization: recognition of position, space and laterality Curiosity and visual memory Drawing, word exploration and writing and logical reasoning. Basic Computing History and evolution of computers, Computer technologies and applications, definition of computers; processing and storage capacity; Components of a computing system: Concepts and characteristics of Software (Basic, Utilities and Applications) and Hardware (Processor, Memory, Motherboard, I / O Devices, Video, network and sound cards, etc.) People ware; Computer language, digital representation of data; The importance of information technology for contemporary communication; Free and / or proprietary operating systems; Management and use of text editors, spreadsheets and presentations (free and / or proprietary); Application of electronic tools for searching information on the Internet, browsing the web and sending an e-mail with attached files; Utility tools (antivirus, defragmenters, system optimizers in general); Use of specific software in the computer area; Aspects of the profession and the labor market in the IT area; Know the basic principles of information technology; Know the operational aspects of information technology; Identify the components of the computer and its peripherals, analyzing their operation; Use operating systems, text editing tools, spreadsheets and presentations; Use the internet productively and safely; Use utility security and optimization tools. There are also Intermediate / Advanced IT classes available.
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