Defy Gravity News | Spring 2015


This month’s issue includes an update on our new Columbus Social Entrepreneur Launchpad, the volunteer spotlight, upcoming events, a call to action by guest author Ben Miller, and an invitation to join AdubClub Tri Team.

Columbus Social Entrepreneur Launchpad Kickoff


Starfish Alliance’s Columbus Social Entrepreneur Launchpad (CSEL) began on January 31. CSEL equips young alumni of foster care with RISE entrepreneur certification from the Economic and Community Development Institute and barista certification from Brioso Coffee. Members are also connected with mentors and monthly enrichment seminars covering leadership, health and fitness, mock interviews, and more.

At the first meeting, we all got to know each other and Brioso Coffee engaged members in an Introduction to Coffee, complete with Pour Overs. Yum.

Thanks to the Create Columbus Commission, Dawson and Brioso Coffee for sponsoring this meeting.


Volunteer RockSTAR

This quarter’s Volunteer RockSTAR is Tessa Hanna, a long-time camp counselor and school-year mentor with Royal Family KIDS of Franklin County. Tessa goes above and beyond the call of duty, energetically working to ensure her mentee is happy and feeling loved. She says her favorite part about mentoring through Royal Family KIDS is getting to know her mentee.

Thanks for ALL you do Tessa!


Lucky’s Market Columbus: January through March

easy-as-123-starfish (2)

From now through March, if you bring your own bag(s) in to shop at Lucky’s Market, you will receive a wooden dime to donate to Starfish Alliance.

Lucky’s will double the total donation amount at the end of March.

Location: 2770 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43202




Dirty Frank’s Hotdog Palace: February 16

All day on February 16th Dirty Frank’s Hotdog Palace will donate 10% of the day’s food sales AND $1 from every sale of the special Starfish Float drink to Starfish Alliance.

Logo DF

Location: 248 S 4th St, Columbus

We’ll be there at Noon and 6PM, but Dirty Frank’s is open from 11AM-1:45AM that day, if another time works better for you. If you can come, please let Dirty Frank’s know that you are with Starfish Alliance.

We hope to see you there! Happy Presidents Day!

Ohio Fostering Connections Advocacy Day
: March 26

On March 26, 11:30-1:30
at the Ohio Statehouse Atrium, Ohio Fostering Connections will host an advocacy luncheon to educate legislators and the community about bipartisan efforts to extend supports for foster youth to age 21.

Starfish Alliance is a supporter and we are involved with organizing the event. NFL/Buckeye Alum Roy Hall will MC. Click here to RSVP (required).


Let’s Be People Who DO. You in?

by Benjamin Scot Miller  |  Illustration by Daniel G. Ford

[When the weather was warmer], I was leaving our development in the morning and as I pulled up to the intersection of the main road, I noticed what looked like a plastic bag in the street. As I came to a stop, that bag was just feet outside my window on the left and I realized it was not a bag at all, but a big bull frog. At first I thought it might be dead, but then it moved. However, I could tell something wasn’t right. I looked closer and saw that one of his back legs was severely damaged, most likely run over by a car. This wasn’t stopping him though… he kept trying to crawl even though it was really hard for him.

I felt really bad for him. I tried to figure out what I should do. Do I get out and help him? He would most likely be slimy. Do I take him over to the pond he was heading to? Is he too hurt? Is he going to die anyways? Would it be better to leave him there and let a car ‘finish’ him quickly so that he didn’t die a slow death in the pond? WHAT SHOULD I DO!?!?!?

It was then that cars started pulling up behind me. I looked at the clock and I was already late. I looked back at the frog, said ‘I’m sorry’ and drove off.

As I left the frog in my rearview mirror I kept looking back, wondering if that next car pulling in would hit him. I felt horrible. I wish I could have helped. Then I noticed I had a towel in my passenger seat and could use it to pick him up! No need to worry about getting dirty!

Scan0008Nope. I have to get to work. Too late! Sorry!

Then I started thinking these thoughts trying to make myself feel better…. “At least I cared. How many other people would even consider helping him? I feel sorry for him, how many others are emotionally upset over seeing him…”

And that’s when it hit me….

Simply caring means nothing to God.

God could care less if you get emotionally upset over a situation. If there is some tragedy or atrocity happening in the world that bothers you… the fact that it merely upsets you is useless! It accomplishes nothing on its own. Don’t try to prop yourself up with the thought ‘At least I care’… like I did with the frog.

God wants us to be people of action. What matters is whether or not we DO SOMETHING about the issues that arrive in our lives and in our world.

All that day at work I was sick to my stomach. I knew I could have helped and didn’t. More importantly, I knew that God was teaching me through this situation. He was teaching me that I need to be someone who does, and not just someone who feels. Feeling is great, if it motivates you to do something, but if you never take the next step to action, it will only boost your own ego.

When I drove home that night, I awaited the turn into the development. I wanted to see if he made it… if he was okay. I came around the turn and [discovered that he did not make it].

I could have made a difference. I didn’t. Yes, the frog is trivial in the grand scheme of things… but what will present itself in the future? When will I be called to take action? Will I do something, or just drive away hoping everything is okay? Will I look at my towel and almost jump in to help and then falter once more? Or will I get out, not care what people think, and do what needs to be done?

Lets be people who HELP
Lets be people who DO
Lets be people who make a difference

You in?

Benjamin Scot Miller is a photographer and filmmaker and the father of Ward Miles, a baby born 15 weeks early, only to develop into a perfectly healthy boy after plenty of prayers and lots of love. Click here to watch the mini-doc Ben produced about Ward’s story. He is also a member of Adubclub Tri Team, a triathlon team benefiting Starfish Alliance.

To volunteer with Starfish Alliance, visit The next training is April 24 and 25 with additional training opportunities available.

Join Adubclub Triathlon Team and Support Starfish Alliance

You can join Adubclub Tri Team this year and race for the youth and alumni of foster care who are part of the Starfish Alliance network! All experience-levels welcome.

1) Click here to hear Coach Adam Ward describe the team and what to expect.

2) Click here to read the Adubclub Tri Team expectations

3) Click here to apply to join the team.

Thank you, Adubclub Tri Team for your support!