Just 10 percent of Guatemalan indigenous girls who live in rural communities are enrolled in secondary school, and less than 1 percent continue on to university. Starfish has embarked on a new journey to launch our first all-girls' secondary school in January 2017. We believe that by combining our intentional, holistic program with highly trained educators and a rigorous academic model, our Girl Pioneers will truly be able to realize their infinite impact and create long-lasting change.
The average Mayan teenage girl in Guatemala has 3.5 years of education. Even when she can access school, the quality is abysmal. Nationally, only 10 percent of high school graduates meet international standards of literacy and only 8.5 percent reach the standards of math comprehension. While graduates of our current program have reached incredible heights academically and socially, the implications of the severely substandard Guatemalan educational system are impeding their goals and potentials.
The lack of quality and quantity in schools severely impedes each young woman's ability to realize her full potential as a productive employee, social change-maker, and leader. To address this issue, Starfish has embarked on a new journey to launch our first all-girls' secondary school in January 2017. By focusing on academic rigor, core competencies and leadership development, the school will produce students who can lead positive change in their communities and in their country as a whole.
The Starfish Impact School will begin with a cohort of 40 carefully selected seventh-grade students from Solola and will expand by one grade level each year, through 12th grade. There is no organizational model in Central America for an institution like the Starfish Impact School. Utilizing extremely intentional design in both educator training and curriculum development, our model is created to be both scaleable and replicable to impact as many students, families and communities as possible.