The first dance...
In 2009, a few friends in Seattle, Washington got together and threw a Zydeco dance fundraising event aimed at supporting the education of 30 orphaned children in the rural village of Chebukuyi, on the west coast of Kenya.
This dance evolved into Star of Hope Centre, USA, and in 2011 was recognized as a non-profit organization. With a mission of providing a loving environment for the Star of Hope Centre students to grow and learn and prosper into adulthood. Star of Hope, USA works as a fundraising team to provide a safe home and a low or no-cost education to primary school students whose families would not otherwise be able to afford to send their children to school.
Selah and Leonard at the start...
In 2021 those original students started into high school. We've formed Stella's Stars to help them prosper into adulthood — expanding on the original vision of Star of Hope Centre, USA. Our core mission is to build impacting educational opportunities and a promise for future growth for the Chebukuyi community.
Stella Blue Altwies
In February of 2020, Stella Blue Altwies, a 14-year-old girl from Seattle, Washington, died from a rare form of cancer, a few months before her own graduation into High School.
Most of her 8th grade year was spent in chemotherapy and radiation. As it became clear her final weeks were approaching, one of her first thoughts was that she would not be able to attend High School - the vision she shared with her 8th grade family of friends, who had been together since the start of school.
Stella loved school. She often said she felt “super lucky” to live in a country where education was so accessible. Stella collected first aid kits, books, school and art supplies to ship to Kenya for ‘Boxes to Bungoma’ - a teen-led drive to deliver supplies to the Star of Hope Children’s Centre. She volunteered regularly and convinced friends and family to attend dance fundraisers to raise money for them as well.
The hummingbird - Stella’s spirit bird - is regarded in Kenya as a symbol of resilience and determination. Stella’s Stars is dedicated to empowering the dreams of children everywhere to use these traits to propel them as far in life as they can through education and community experience.
We invite you to join us.