The Next Step Fund, Inc.

Rating: 4.94 stars   85 reviews

Issues: Human Services

Location: 86A Sherman St Cambridge MA 02140 USA

Mission: To shatter limitations and elevate aspirations of teens and young adults impacted by cancer and life threatening blood diseases.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

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Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

I attended the Face Forward program through Next Step for the first time last summer. I have Mitochondrial Disease which is a progressive energy metabolism disorder that causes multiple organ failure. I was a little hesitant when I first got to the camp, but it was probably one of the best weeks of my life. I met so many amazing kids and after just 4 days it felt like we had known each other for a year. The staff were all so kind and awesome and the environment was incredible, very supportive, encouraging and positive. I love that there is a camp where I could go even with all my medical needs and one where all the other kids understand what it's like to live with a disease that changes your life and still keep on going and living a happy life. I made good friends who I am in regular touch with. Overall it was incredible and I am counting down till the next summer session! Face Forward gets me through the hard times!

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been associated with Next Step since it’s beginning. My daughter, Emily was one of it’s very first members, and actually attended the first retreat on Thompson Island back in June 2004. Em was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 12. She attended an incredible camp which gave her love, support and understanding like no other. When she aged out, we tried in vein to find a place for her. That was a useless, frustrating endeavor. Then wonderful Bill Kubicek founded Next Step. She was no longer alone. Next Step gave her a community when there wasn’t one. Next Step gave her the love, support and understanding she needed. Next Step, with Bill and his wonderful staff, opened another world for her, and for us. Our beautiful Emily lost her battle with her brain tumor, and passed away almost 3 years ago, but Em’s spirit will always be with Next Step. We want to share her story, so you will know how very important Next Step was to Em, and still continues to be for other young adults who are struggling and feeling very much alone.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 5 stars  

This is such an incredible organization and I'm so happy I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Face Forward retreat last summer.  Being able to witness the bonds and friendships made over those few days was truly amazing.   The population Next Step serves is so deserving. 

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Rating: 5 stars  

This organization finds a million-and-one ways to bring happiness, joy, and solidarity to the young people they work with. Every time I see a picture of an event, I see a sea of smiles. It takes special people to do this work. The Next Step staff are the real deal.

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Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Next Step is doing a hard job, but you would never know it from the joy and energy they bring to it. It takes a special group of people to make a program so full of life and fun for so many young people.

I work in a nearby office. I became a donor because I watched them work. They are special. Full of imagination, style and compassion. They do the serious work as well as anyone else. But, it is with the kids and the programs they put together, that they really shine. What other group do you know that has a huge inflatable gorilla as a mascot??

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I walk by their office every day. They have pictures, and art work, and posters, and joyful decorations all over their walls. Their presence in the building, and in the world, makes me smile and have hope.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

give them more money so they could expand.

Review from Guidestar
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

If only there was a box to check that exceeded life changing! I am now a professional working to help youth with disabilities become empowered and educated in their own lives- specifically in the health care sector- however- I am also one of the young people that have benefited from the Next Step programs. I have seen the growth of Next Step as it came about as something to fill that void for young adults who age out of recreational programs like camps. At that fragile age of 16-20, not only do many of the resources and supports end, but so does the social interaction, recreation, and as I have sometimes witnessed- hope. Next Step supplements for all of that as it provides a community and an opportunity to both young adults and their care givers to share their stories, learn about new resources, and gain life skills and confidence. I have seen individuals grow and become more empowered in their identities and their outlook on what is possible for their future. This is what our upcoming generations need!! I know I wouldn't be where I am without it.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

My experience with Next Steps comes from many perspectives, as I work in the field of supporting young adults with serious illnesses, I have volunteered at Next Step weekends, but most of all, I am a young adult who has been served, and greatly affected by the work Next Step does.
Next Step reaches the large, significant population that often "falls through the cracks" of the systems, and social activities. Once a young person ages out of programs, or things like summer camp, it is easy to lose track of what is positive and empowering in their lives. Next Step makes sure that does not happen. I have watched as young people with what many would view as "significant disabilities" learn new skills, make friends, overcome challenges, and reach goals, all while being 100% comfortable with who they are. It's an invaluable experience to have those opportunities that so many take for granted.
The other piece that I see great value in that Next Step provides is providing support for the caregivers of those young adults who are the ones who have jumped in, when their child ages out of programs and services. This does not happen enough, and is such a huge part of taking care of the health and wellness of both parent/caregiver and young adult.
I commend all the work Next Step does, and am honored to be involved as their journey continues to grow and educate, and support more people.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The early stages of founding the program, and most recently in 2009, 2010, as a participant and staff member for several events.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide them more financial support to thrive and expand!!!

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Next Step has allowed my fellow volunteers and I to make a lasting difference in the lives of so many teens. Their continued support has been extraordinary week after week.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my volunteer work with STRIVE.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change a thing.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

NextStep is a wonderful organization that serves a very underserved medical population: young adults with life-threatening illnesses. As a physician and cancer survivor myself, I know that there are few resources for this group and NextStep is filling a huge gap in support services. It is run by a compassionate and well-educated group who are committed to their cause.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have spoken with participants in their programs and have seen the improvement in self-esteem, and the bonding among participants.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase their ability to provide programming to teens, increase the number of weekends they are able to run program (in short, provide them with more funding!)

Rating: 5 stars  

I have benefited from the Next Step Fund organization both as a volunteer and as a participant. It is truly pleasing and appeasing to know that there is a such an organization as this one that deeply cares about the quality of live of the marginalized patients and patient demographic they serve. Next Step Fund is comprised of compassionate, selfless and dedicated staffers who give their all to the population they serve. Without them, these teens will feel doomed and unloved. It is great to know that someone out there cares and loves us unconditionally.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the difference and impact it's had in these teens lives by their very own testimonies and evaluation of the program. I have also benefitted personally from gaining true satisfaction in who I am and not what I have been defined to me by my illness.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None, it is awesome. They are all unselfish givers of their love, support, time, attention. They are very creative in how they get the teens' attention and participation. It is a wonderful group of educators and a wonderful organization.

Rating: 5 stars  

Next Step is one of the best program my daughter ever participated. We have learned so much in their two-day program. I sincerely hope that we can join its program again in the future. Thanks so much! You are the ONE!!

Daniel Szeto
Weston, MA

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Hole in the wall gang camp in CT.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do nothing! They are one of the best indeed.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Who says that when you turn 18 you no longer need support and services for dealing with cancer? Thankfully the Next Step doesn't say so. This is a vital organization for those trying to cope with illness while trying to balance the struggles of young adulthood.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have attended fund raisers for this organization and have heard the inspirational stories from those who have benefitted from their programs

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Spread the word to more people of the fabulous work they do.

Review from Guidestar

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