The Stella’s Stars all-volunteer board formed in 2020 to ensure the Star of Hope graduates can continue their education without the prohibitively high cost of tuition and 4 hours of travel time.
We believe access to education raises the entire community.
Selah Brown, Board Chair, is one of the original members of the Star of Hope Centre board and spent ten years helping raise money to build and operate the Star of Hope Children's Centre. Along with her buddy Stella, she coordinated the ‘Boxes to Bungoma’ service-learning project working with middle school leadership students to collect books, medical, educational and art supplies to send to Kenya. Dedicated to making sure all the Star of Hope graduates continue to have affordable access to a secondary education, she switched roles and co-founded Stella’s Stars.
Together with her new team, she hopes to raise the funds to build and operate a high school campus that offers a secondary education and a vocational training program to the children of Chebukuyi. In her day job, she is a program coordinator at a community senior center. She loves to crochet stuffed animals; plan events and support people’s philanthropic side by creating opportunities for them to do good things for the world.
Ms. Julia Halsne has over 34 years of combined experience in the environmental, water, and wastewater industry. She recently retired from her position as the Manager of East Bay Municipal Utility District’s (EBMUD)'s Business Continuity Program and Emergency Preparedness Program. Ms. Halsne received her Masters in Business Administration, Masters in Environmental Science and Bachelors in Chemistry. In addition to her position with Stella’s Stars as Secretary for the Board, she has volunteered and held board officer positions for a variety of community organizations including the Contra Costa Commission for Women, the Friends of the I Commission, Mountain View Sanitary District Community Advisory Board, Diablo Valley AIDs Center, and Village Oaks Homeowners Association. She lives with her family in the SF Bay Area.
Amber Landry-Miller was born and raised in Seattle, WA and received her Bachelor’s degree in American Cultural Studies from Western Washington University. She began volunteering with non-profits at an early age and joined her first Board of a non-profit at 23 years old. She started volunteering with Star of Hope fundraisers several years ago and got introduced to the wonderful students in the Chebukuyi community. Today, Amber owns her own Bookkeeping business and is excited to be able to contribute her knowledge of bookkeeping and social media fundraising as the Treasurer for Stella’s Stars.
Julie Paulin grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree from UC Irvine. She married a New Zealander and they have spent time in both countries with their three boys. She was on the board of directors for her children’s primary school in Motueka, New Zealand for nearly 4 years. She currently loves her work as a Learning Designer for Like-Minded Learning in Christchurch, NZ. Julie is grateful and happy to be a part of Stella's Stars and finds being able to contribute directly to the kids extremely rewarding.
Our online fundraising event raised over $20K!
We had our first online fundraising event, Stella's Rising Stars. It was the premiere of our mini-documentary and we had musical guests, Misner & Smith and Aireene Esperitu.
Watch a recording of the entire event!
Watch and share the mini-documentary.
We got a visitor in Chebukuyi
Nora Percival, whose life’s work with the Kenya Health Education Ministry, recently paid a visit to the Star of Hope Centre and Stella Blue Campus. She met Leonard, toured the grounds, and met some of the students. There are photos and more information in our article about her visit.
Sarah Millstein steps down
Saying goodbye, but not farewell. Board member Sarah Millstein, who has been instrumental in helping us launch Stella's Stars, is taking a step back from her time on the Board while she becomes co-owner of her law firm. Sarah has been an incredible asset to our mission and while we're sad to see her go we wish her well with her new endeavors and know she will always be part of the team. Thank you Sarah - for all you have done for the kids!
Misner & Smith online benefit concert
We were thrilled to be the recipient of the Misner & Smith fundraiser studio sessions held online in November. Not only did it fill our ears with beautiful music but it filled our hearts with gratitude and a true sense of community.