Today the team at OperationSTART is preparing to take the next step in the nonprofit world. Two years ago, Tiffany, Lilian, and I founded OperationSTART to make the world a better place to live in. We struggled first-hand with the opportunity gap– the lack of ability to find enrichment opportunities in San Francisco.
San Francisco sits on 46.9 square miles of land and has a population of over 815,201 residents. For a big innovative city, we were shocked to learn that there are over 400 not-for-profit programs offered in the city but that there was not one place that listed them for easier access.
The idea of OperationSTART came across when we struggled first-hand to find enrichment opportunities during the summer of 2020. Luckily, with the help of our SEO Scholars Program Manager and support system, we found programs and internships we could apply for and be a part of, but we wondered how other students could do the same.
We wanted to bridge this opportunity divide through a free online platform that would be accessible to all youth ages 14-18 in San Francisco. To start this adventure, we needed funding, and our first round of funding was $10,000 from the Youth Empowerment Fund (YEF). With this funding, we were able to kickstart the organization, purchase all the essential software and tools needed for the platform, create a marketing strategy to help ourselves gain exposure, and also to be able to hire and pay our team.
After the YEF grant, we applied for another $10,000 grant from Youth Funding Youth Ideas (YFYI) to continue offering our services through September 2022. Throughout these two grant cycles and OperationSTART’s inception, Mission Bit, a 501c3 based in San Francisco to bridge the tech divide through Computer Science education, fiscally sponsored us. Mission Bit and its CEO, Christina Ortega, played a crucial role in OperationSTART’s success by advising my team and me about running a nonprofit.
To date, we have hired a total of seven high school students to our team, 276 verified users on our platform, 84 approved organizations, and 192 approved opportunities.
As we near the end of September 2022, our grant cycle nears its end, and OperationSTART will start transitioning out of our fiscal sponsorship with Mission Bit. We are grateful for Mission Bit’s support throughout these two years and will, as always, stay connected!
We are looking for generous donors to support us in keeping OperationSTART operational during this time.
If you are in the capacity to give, please consider doing so at:
Your contribution will help renew essential software for the operation of our platform and beyond. We hope to raise $10,000 to help us transition into the next chapter of OperationSTART.
Testimonials from students on our platform
“[OperationSTART is] user friendly and easy to use and understand while being effective. You can TRUST that it’s legit and it isn’t going to use your information for bad reasons.” - Stanley, Lowell High School
“[OperationSTART] is extremely convenient for me to find the resource that I was looking for. And I feel very satisfied seeing all the information being well-organized.” - Keke, George Washington High School
We thank you for your generous support in advance and are looking forward to seeing OperationSTART thrive!
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Co-Founder & Programs Director
Co-Founder & Outreach Director