Many Middle school students seem to be 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. 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 their weekly program. Offered weekly within the safe and controlled environment of Dowagiac Middle School, the program offers academic support, workforce readiness training, mentoring, character education, and experiential learning. Each weekly session includes a coaches meeting prior to student entry where the schedule is discussed, curriculum covered, coaching tips shared, and student grades handed out. Five Star Life is trying to be a catalyst of change throughout the country, and has been offered at the Dowagiac Middle School since 2013 due to a generous grant from The Pokagon Fund. In addition to the after-school program, FSL 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 our 300-acre camp in Indiana.