Philosophy of The $100 Solution™

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“An old man walked along a shore littered with thousands of starfish, beached and dying after a storm. A young man was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean. ‘Why do you bother?’ the old man scoffed. ‘You’re not saving enough to make a difference.’ The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back to the water. ‘Made a difference to that one,’ he said.”

The Starfish Story lies at the core of The $100 Solution™ and its teaching methodology, encouraging students to implement change in their community with small steps to large challenges.  In addition, we ensure that each $100 Solution™ project upholds the five pillars which we view to be fundamental to this organization and it’s principle:

Partnership – a mutually beneficial relationship, which includes students and community members working together to accomplish mutual goals. Partnerships link students directly to the community and form long-term relationships that encourage all members to work together in assessing needs, implementing solutions, and evaluating efforts.

Reciprocity – the practice of exchanging things [goods, services, knowledge, or ideas] with others for mutual benefit. Reciprocity ensures the community need is served while both students and community members teach, learn, and benefit from service-learning projects.

Sustainability – the result of creating solutions with the capacity to endure. Projects focus on long-term solutions that consider future needs and resources and carry lasting impacts.

Capacity Building – the act of helping community members strengthen their own knowledge, abilities, and resources towards self-sufficiency; helping others to help themselves.

Reflection – the practice of documenting the learning process through free yet directed thought. Continued verbal and written reflection is used as a tool for awareness, analysis, and interpretation to transform experiences into meaningful learning.