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Reach for the Stars

A Tucson Nonprofit Using Astronomy, Science, Math, Engineering, and Art to improve Mental Health and Wellness

Youth in Tucson participating in an astronomy workshop, using a telescope at a local nonprofit.
Kids at a Tucson nonprofit astronomy event sketching constellations as part of an art integration project, boosting creativit

Our Mission:

Reach For The Stars is a pioneering and inclusive Tucson-based nonprofit that harnesses the transformative power of astronomy and STEAM to promote mental health and wellness among children, youth and the community.

Graphic on Tucson Reach for the Stars Homepage

Reach For The Stars believes that it is critical, now more than ever, to be a guide for our youth and give them a unique, powerful, fun, and whole-person way to cope with stress in their life and transform. There is a worldwide crisis of mental health, with children suffering from severe anxiety, and an epidemic of loneliness. Additionally, Arizona is higher than the national average for suicide among young teens. When health problems are not addressed early, they can easily have lasting consequences into adulthood.
 
Even though children are the main focus, our community astronomy events draw people of all ages, with reports of lasting, uplifting change. Space exploration is one of the most awe-inspiring frontiers available, especially to children. Our specialty is making a connection through our many programs, events, advanced equipment, and experiences: lowering depression by widening perspectives, enhancing spirituality with views of galaxies, nebulae, star clusters and planets, and harnessing wonder and peace as well as sparking creative thinking through STEM. 

The Problem

Group of young participants at a Tucson nonprofit STEAM camp, engaged in a hands-on science project to learn about planets.
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Personal Growth: Self-Esteem and Confidence: Completing projects and solving problems contribute to a sense of achievement and self-worth. Social Skills: Camps offer a communal setting where kids can make friends and learn to work with others. Global Awareness: Astronomy offers a cosmic perspective that can help kids appreciate the interconnectedness of life on Earth.

Mental Health Benefits: Reduced Stress: The wonder and beauty of the cosmos can offer a refreshing break from daily stressors, providing mental health benefits. Being in nature and the amplified silence of the night is equally beneficial. Mindfulness: Observing celestial objects can be a meditative experience, encouraging mindfulness and a break from screen time. Therapeutic Benefits: For some, looking at the stars or working on a project can serve as an effective coping mechanism for issues like anxiety or depression.

​Educational Advantages:  ​​Interdisciplinary Learning: STEAM camps integrate the study of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics, encouraging a more holistic understanding of the world. Critical Thinking: Activities that require problem-solving and logical reasoning help develop critical thinking skills. Scientific Literacy: With astronomy as a focus, children become familiar with scientific terminology, theories, and methodologies, making them more scientifically literate.

​Skill Development: ​Technical Skills: From understanding the mechanics of a telescope to programming a simple app, kids acquire valuable technical skills. Soft Skills: Teamwork, communication and leadership skills are often emphasized in a camp setting. Artistic Expression: By including art in our curriculum, children are encouraged to think creatively and express themselves. ​And many others: See Programs page for more information (under construction).

Reach for the Stars (RFTS) is a one-of-a-kind nonprofit that uses fine-tuned programs that offer a comprehensive, multi-dimensional approach to mental well-being and personal development. We use the wonder of astronomy and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) to foster psychological well-being and develop new coping mechanisms to help manage stress, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, setting the foundation for a lifetime of joy and success.  These programs assist in many ways, including:

The Solution 

Our Programs

Tucson Reach for the Stars flyer with program information

Empowering
Growth

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TESTIMONIALS

Testimonial from someone who used Reach for the Stars as their Senior Exit Project internship.
Tucson children at a local Reach for the Stars event experimenting with a DIY planetarium.

Help us enhance the way our community copes with mental health, and help our local youth get into our programs ASAP. To help fund this innovative mission, please select an option below.  

- We need continuous support to keep the programs running and our doors open. Please consider becoming a member to give a monthly donation to the mission, or make a one-time donation via the button below!

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