Our Story

Starfish Alliance was born in 2002 to improve the odds for young people whose lives have been touched by the foster system. We knew that thousands of kids in Ohio cycle through foster care each year and most battle with feelings of loss, abandonment, and confusion. Often youth are reunified with their biological families, however, there is a significant number of youth each year that reach adulthood and must go out on their own. The statistics for foster care alum (those youth who have spent any amount of time in the foster system) suggest that they are far more likely to experience poverty and homelessness as adults.

Our team understood that there was a clear need to support a wider range of at-risk youth and youngadults in developing the skills to not only survive, but to thrive. In line with our origin story, we were charged to save as many as we could, but we recognized that we couldn’t do it alone. Over the past few years we’ve come to see that the issue is systemic, and so should be the solution. We’ve opened our arms to wrap supportive services around several additional clusters of kids – those in low-income families, survivors of trauma, justice-involved, and opportunity youth.


Building agency in youth and increasing organizational capacity to meet their needs through the creation of caring communities.

Our Vision

We envision a world of social equity for all young people, regardless of the pain or disenfranchisement in their backgrounds.

Our Aspiration

To create a community of support for youth experiencing barriers to both personal and economic wellbeing, through volunteerism and philanthropy.


  • Kathleen Harkin, HCS, Executive Director
  • John Dale, Assistant Director, Royal Family KIDS Camp
  • Ann Bischoff, Executive Director, Star House
  • John Richard, Associate Executive Director, Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators
  • Sharon Ryan, Director of Client Service, Resource
  • Jennifer Sharma, Chief Strategy Officer, Alvis House