Soledad O'Brien started her Starfish Media Group as a way to control the kinds of projects she could work on as a journalist.

She was inspired by an Evangelical story:
Countless starfish have washed ashore on a beach and are dying off. A little boy is picking them up and tossing them back into the ocean in the hope they’ll survive. A man walks by and asks him why he’s doing something so futile.
“There are hundreds,” he points out. “What difference will it make?”
The boy picks up another starfish, throws it into the sea and says: “It will make a difference to that one.”
And so she created the Soledad O'Brien and Brad Raymond Starfish Foundation with her husband in 2011 in order to provide funds and resources for student scholars with the idea that helping one young woman can cause a ripple effect throughout her family, friends, and community - transform lives, one girl at a time.

Then, her PowHERful Foundation Summit Series began in 2012 in New York City as an annual, free daylong conference for high school- and college-aged young women focusing on educational, professional, and personal development.

In 2017, the Starfish Foundation became the PowHERful Foundation to better reflect the empowerment message they want to provide young women all across the country opportunities.

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