Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research

Stars of HOPE Program Impact Study 2018

The purpose of the Stars of HOPE Impact Study was to determine the influence of the program’s community, school, corporate, family, and service projects on participants and recipients. This evaluation assesses the impact on individuals that have participated in, received, and/or witnessed Stars of HOPE in various settings in response to and following both natural and human-caused tragedies.

A total of 62 adults who have, received, and/or witnessed Stars of HOPE in various settings participated in an online survey about its impacts. These individuals originally came into contact with Stars of HOPE through one of following four tragedies: (1) the 2007 Greensburg, Kansas tornado; (2) the 2015 San Bernardino terror attack; (3) the 2017 wildfires in Santa Rosa, California; and (4) the 2016 Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando, Florida. Contact information for 100 individuals (25 for each of the four tragedies) was provided by the New York Says Thank You Foundation. These individuals were invited to participate in the survey via email between June and July 2018. The overall response rate for the survey was 62%.

The online survey took approximately 10 minutes to complete, and survey questions assessed how respondents’ felt about various elements of their participation in the Stars of HOPE Program, and whether they perceived that the Stars of HOPE program impacted their lives in positive and meaningful ways. The online survey and consent procedures were reviewed and approved by Florida State University’s Institutional Review Board (Human Subjects Committee).

Overall, participants had highly favorable views and experiences with the Stars of HOPE program. The findings of this impact study suggests that Stars of HOPE can help people affected by tragedy feel more optimistic, supported, and connected to others.


Principal Investigator: Jillian J. Turanovic, Ph.D.

Co-Principal Investigator: Krista Flannigan, J.D.

Dates: 2018

Funding Agency: New York Says Thank You Foundation