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Heidi Warren

"The design process included several of Starfinder's young members. They had the opportunity to voice their opinions to board members, staff and designers."

2014 - Heidi Warren is Executive Director of Starfinder, a youth development organization focused around soccer which helps young people “match their boundless aspiration with purposeful action, finding the ‘stars’ in themselves, and becoming agents of positive change.” Despite modest facilities, Starfinder Foundation is full of ambition, serving as a soccer refuge for young people across Philadelphia and providing life-changing opportunities like athlete trips to both Sweden and Brazil.

”Since 2009, I’ve had a pretty significant role in Starfinder – helping to manage it, to figure out how we pay for it, and ultimately dreaming with the Collaborative about enhancing it and making it something much more special for our kids.”

In 2013, Starfinder partnered with the Community Design Collaborative to explore ways to upgrade and improve their facility. Heidi remembered clearly the moment she decided to apply for a Collaborative Design Grant: “I was in our bathroom and looking at the fact that the tile floor in the girls’ room has some parts that are loose and coming up, and I was like, ‘Man we really should redo the floor, we really should redo the tiles.’ Then I was like, ‘We really should redo the whole bathroom.’ And then it just escalated. And I thought, this is a Collaborative project!”

The Collaborative’s design process centered on meetings with a task force, which included several of Starfinder's young members. They had the opportunity to sit in and voice their opinions to board members, staff and designers. "It's important for the kids are privy to how these kinds of conversations happen, and the decision making that goes on in the world of adults.”

“It was amazing to get a sense of what’s possible with this building. The design process brought out all these ideas that I never would have thought of."


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