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Starfish Family Services

Our speaker this past week was Jean Overman. This was Jean's second time speaking to our group. The first time she discussed Starfish Family Services, a support program providing high quality early childhood education and support for families in Inkster and surrounding areas. At our meeting Jean (a fellow Rotarian from Dearborn) gave us insight into Operation Refuge, Mothers Pantry, Camp Inspire STEM programs and LIT.

Camp Inspire and STEM is passionate about creating life changing experiences to girls in 5th -12th grade and increasing STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) awareness especially in forensic science and coding.

Professionals from Apple, Google, and Schoolcraft College present programs to expose the girls to opportunities available to them, igniting possibilities for their future. The girls participate in Kids on Campus, get involved in 6 week career programs, and are made aware of scholarships. Mentors are a main part of Camp Inspire's program. The leaders work with parents and students to accept that education is important and a way out of poverty.

The LIT (leaders in training) program is mainly for boys 14 -24. The boys get exposed to different types of Trades that they might be interested in such as Construction. Jean told us that for many students, they had never held a hammer before entering the program. The idea is to get the students learning a trade while getting paid for their effort.

Counseling is a major part of Operation Inspire, helping the kids deal with the closing of schools due to COVID and the lack of a community school since the Inkster school dissolved. There are five different school buses taking kids to various surrounding districts.

Mothers pantry is also part of Operation Refuge. The pantry operates like a grocery store, letting the client enter the store to select only the food that they want and need.

Susan Paluchniak


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Rotary Club of Livonia AM

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Livonia, MI 48154

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