The Problem

Every school day in the U.S.

7,000 students drop out

“The crisis we face in public education is a threat

to the very core of who we are as a nation…

it is the civil rights movement of today!”

– Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice 2

“The crisis we face in public education is a threat to the very core of who we are as a nation…it is the civil rights movement of today!”

– Condoleezza Rice


80% of first time drug abuse happens between

Ages 10-14


80% of first time drug abuse happens between



85% of all juvenile crime takes place between


Middle school students are slipping through the cracks. A former Indiana Department of Education Superintendent of Schools called the middle school years the “black hole” because students may “physically drop out” in high school, but they “mentally check out” in middle school. These statistics are unacceptable and cannot continue to be the norm in the public school system.

The Solution

5Star Logo HD 600

The Five Star Solution

Five Star Life was formed to address this crisis, eliminate the black hole and, develop in middle school students the desire to succeed and own their futures. Through proprietary curriculum and intentional mentoring, Five Star Life is changing the face of education! Five Star Life does this by focusing all programming on five key areas:

  • At-risk Education & Academic Support

  • Workforce Readiness

  • Mentoring

  • Character Education

  • Experiential Learning

  • At-Risk Education & Academic Support
  • Workforce Readiness
  • Mentoring
  • Character Education
  • Experiential Learning

Starting in one school in Elkhart, Indiana, with fifty students and a handful of volunteers in 2005, Five Star Life can now be found in school districts across the nation, serving thousands of students. This exponential growth is not a coincidence. Five Star Life is expanding because of the measurable impact witnessed by principals, teachers, and parents.

Five Star Life Focuses Programming on

Five Key Areas:

At-risk Education and Academic Support: We challenge students to own their academic success by weekly monitoring of their grades and holding them accountable to the academic goals established during programming.


Workforce Readiness: Throughout the country, employers face a widespread issue of entry-level workers who lack basic skills and workplace etiquette. Our emphasis on character values translates into highly prepared and appropriate workers.


Mentoring: Relationship has long been identified as one of the key basic needs for all students. We utilize the passion and dedication of volunteer mentors (coaches) to connect to students and guide them to their highest academic and personal achievements. Extensive measures are taken to ensure coaches have character, can connect with students, and have the capability to help them reach their greatest potential.


Character Education: We challenge students to change the way they live by changing the way they think. Our Five Core Values are respect, responsibility, integrity, sacrifice, and courage. These values are instilled into students week after week via our proprietary curriculum that includes tangible action steps that mentors (coaches) track and hold students accountable for.


Experiential Learning: We don’t simply teach students the value of academic success and the core values, but also gives them the opportunity to practice it hands-on during day-trips, service learning, and leadership camps.

Our FIVE Programs:

1. Video Curriculum for Classrooms

2. The Afterschool Program

3. The High School Leadership Program

4. Leadership Day Trips

5. Summit Life Leadership Camp


Our Video Curriculum for Classrooms is the fastest growing program! This program is designed to provide schools with a common set of core values, provide a platform for teachers to connect with their students, and change student behavior throughout the building by creating a positive school culture based on our Core Values.


The Video Curriculum can be implemented as an accredited course (depending on state of school district) or during Advisory/Homeroom. Most schools implement the Video Curriculum for the entire student body while others target certain grade levels.


It is cutting edge, easy to use for teachers and faculty, and most of all, relevant to students. This Video Curriculum includes 33 of the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets and teaches 18 Life Skills through our Core Values.

A Five Star school implemented the Video Curriculum throughout the school day for its entire population for the year. What school administration found since its fall implementation is that its school had over 5,000 less disciplinary referrals than the previous academic year! This is not a coincidence!

We are changing the face of education by changing the culture of schools and mindsets of students!


This program focuses on academics, character education, and leadership development in a fun and challenging environment. Students are placed on teams with other students and volunteer coaches. Extensive measures are taken to ensure coaches have character, can connect with students, and have the capability to challenge and lift them to their greatest potential.  Through mentoring and character education, our Core Values are instilled into students week after week challenging them to take the lessons they have learned and use them in real life. This program causes a shift in mindset for students that ultimately changes the culture of schools.


For high school students that have been exposed to the afterschool program, we offer a high school leadership program to help students continue with their training. Through workforce readiness workshops, assisting with the afterschool program, and making a commitment to focus on academics, we are able to bridge the gap from middle school to high school and help students continue on their path to success.


Leadership Day Trips gives students a chance to practice what they have learned throughout the year in a tangible, experiential way that extends beyond the school building at Summit, our 300-acre leadership training facility, in Union, MI. At a Day Trip, students are presented with opportunities to face their fears and put their leadership skills to test through various challenges that include: Adventure Learning Center (high-low ropes course, rock wall), Target Learning Center (in partnership with USA Archery/US Junior Olympics), Nature Education Center (fishing, boating, swimming), Equestrian Learning Center (in partnership with Michigan State University), Track Learning Center (go-karts) and Service Learning. Each leadership rotation is considered a classroom and is tied to the the curriculum so students are learning through experience with very intentional steps. There are values associated with each rotation that can change lives. Students are also invited to participate in overnight Summit Life Leadership Camps. Leadership Camps build on the challenges sampled in the Day Trip, but allow coaches to spend more focus and intensity on helping each student overcome fears, develop relationships, and reach their greatest potential.

Every aspect of the Afterschool Program, the Video Curriculum for Classrooms, Leadership Day Trips, the High School Leadership Program, and Summit Life Leadership Camps ties back to each other in a relevant and real way that keeps students focused while they prepare for their future.

  • I LOVE the ideas included in your curriculum. I'm a 7th grade special education teacher at Navarre Intermediate and I truly want to know when you will expand to include our school. Clearly this is the missing piece needed to help the children develop into whole people who are ready for life's next step. Rarely do they have the opportunity to identify and relate to who they are and this seems to be the overall theme throughout your program.

    Aesha S. South Bend, IN
  • After several years of having the Five Star program in our building, we are convinced that Five Star is the program that we can’t live without at West Side Middle School. Students who participate in the program have shown a positive change in attitude, a desire to do better academically and a sense of respect for those around them. The success with our most at-risk students has been phenomenal!

    Kristie Stutsman West Side Middle School Principal, Elkhart, IN

Our Stats

Memorial Health Foundation funded a three year grant to measure impact and found the longer students participate in Five Star Life the higher student’s grades rise, the better their school attendance, and fewer behavioral problems occur. Our latest data reveals that over 70% of our students in Five Star Life raised their GPA or maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher. We have proven our effectiveness, we have found a solution, and we are continuing to raise the bar every year.

Our Vision

For years, Five Star Life has received inquiries about establishing its program in cities across the country to help combat the national epidemic. In the spring of 2014, this vision became a reality with the acquisition of Summit, our new leadership training facility. Now, teachers, principals, and schools can be trained at Summit and bring the Five Star Life model back to their communities, thus continuing the ripple effect.

Contact Us

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