Today, Starfish Initiative announced that Jennifer McCloud will assume the role of Vice President of Development and Marketing. Starfish is an Indianapolis-based nonprofit organization that focuses on increasing Marion County high school graduation success and college persistence rates among low-income students through its acclaimed mentorship model.
“I am both honored and humbled to have the opportunity to join the Starfish Initiative team in helping current and future Scholars achieve beyond their circumstances," said McCloud. “In this role, I look forward to deepening Starfish’s relationships with civic organizations and businesses throughout Central Indiana as we work together in removing barriers to college and career success for promising, at-risk youth.”
McCloud brings experience in developing advancement initiatives, restructuring communications and marketing channels and enhancing collaborative relationships. Most recently, she served as the Director of University Relations and Communications for Martin University. In that role she was instrumental in shaping the organization's advancement efforts. In addition, Jennifer provides extensive project management experience and the ability to create collaborative work environments that inspire others to excel. McCloud is a graduate of Indiana State University.
“Jennifer brings a wealth of higher education, corporate and nonprofit experience to this role, where she will leverage her broad and deep knowledge of progressive communications strategies to expand the reach of the Starfish mentoring experience," said Gisele Garraway, president and CEO of Starfish Initiative. “As Starfish Initiative scales to serve more Marion County teens, Jennifer's strategic development skills make her a vital partner to reach more corporations, colleges, foundations and individuals who understand that mentoring is critical in cultivating Indianapolis' future talent pipeline."
Starfish Initiative pairs each low-income, but academically promising Scholar one-on-one with a college-educated Mentor. Scholars start the program as high school freshmen. With the focus on college and career, Starfish has built a track record of success over the last 15 years: 100 percent of Scholars who finish the four-year program graduate high school, 98 percent go on to college, and in the past 6 years 78 percent are in pursuit of or have earned postsecondary degrees.