ASTEP has changed my life as much as it has changed the lives of the children we serve. As a an artist and a teaching artist it often feels as though our lives are a series of the highest peaks and the lowest valleys. I can think of no better way to begin the climb "out of the valley" than using my art to meet the needs of the underserved. ASTEP gives that opportunity. It is an organization that allows its volunteers and its support staff to gain as mush as they give.
Review from Guidestar
ASTEP gave me a direction to move towards. Because I have done this program, I now know what kind of career path to move towards and why art was so inspiring to me all those years ago. The program is so well coordinated and pushes you enough that you are forced to learn a new set of skills or flex old ones. I felt safe, cared for, and appreciated. It was a great environment to fly in.
Review from Guidestar
I first heard about AStep after agreeing to perform in a benefit concert several years ago. After watching the videos about the organization, the people it helped, its generous mission and altruism, I was moved to volunteer my time for it whenever I could. I am amazed at how much the volunteers who travel to India give of themselves to the incredibly neglected children they serve.
ASTEP connected me with opportunities to use my personal skill sets in a way that helps others. I went to them with the talents I have to offer (performing, graphic design/layout,etc.) and they put me to work! They use their resources, both physical and fisical, very well. With a small core group they are always friendly, approachable, and easy to contact. They maintain a large and growing volunteer force and I look forward to seeing ASTEP's continued world wide impact, as well as my personal involvement in their efforts.
ASTEP, Artists Striving to End Poverty, and all of the individuals connected with the organization are some of the most dedicated and selfless people I have ever encountered. My experience as a volunteer for their summer program in Homestead was a pivotal moment in my life. From start to finish, the experience was incredibly positive and fulfilling for both the faculty and the students. ASTEP's contributions to humanity are remarkable, and I feel so blessed to have come in contact with this magnificent group of people.
My experience is watching a great number of my friends create their organization and pour their heart and souls into working with these children. The volunteers of ASTEP are some of the most talented artists I know, yet they all put working with children first on their priority list, and their own careers second. That's love and dedication!
My experience with ASTEP has changed who I am and what I live for. They are an extremely well organized group made up of passionate and driven artists that believe that arts education can stop the poverty cycle. And through my experience with them, I am now a believer of this concept too and will continue to dedicate much of my time to help it come true. I have absolutely no complaints.
My experience with ASTEP changed my life forever; and even though I have been on a slight hiatus from them, those experiences continue to impact my life for the better. Above all, the best thing about the organization is that everyone who decides to get involved is passionate about what they are doing, and are doing it for the right reason. It is not a charity that is there just for the sake of being a charity, but it is there because they actually want to complete their mission to change lives for the better. And they will stop at nothing to achieve just that. ASTEP in the right direction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I went to Bangalore, India two summers ago to volunteer at the Shanti Bhavan School through ASTEP. It continues to be one of the most pivotal experiences of my life. The time I spent there opened my eyes to a world that I had never seen or been exposed to before. There are no words to describe the impact that the children I met and worked with at Shanti Bhavan had on my life. And it would have never been possible without the help of ASTEP. ASTEP is like no other non profit, in that they do not charge young artists, such as myself, to pursue a calling for overseas outreach. When I was looking into international outreach, I looked into many organizations. ASTEP was the ONLY organization that didn't charge me thousands of dollars (not including plane fare) to go and help others globally. In face, ASTEP gave me a list of ways to fundraise the only money I would need to go...my plane fare. I was able to raise the money I needed to travel without a huge dent in my wallet. I also had the honor of working at shanti Bhavan with Mary Mitchell Campbell, the founder of ASTEP. Mary Mitchell is undoubtedly one of the most incredible and inspiring people that i have ever met. With a career blooming on Broadway, she continues to focus all that she has on ASTEP and keeping this unique and one of a kind organization alive and thriving.
I started out as a facilitator with astep, many moons ago. I believe i was part of the AIA camps on its second year, and i've been involved since. I now am a program coordinator for the summer camps. It has changed my life and brought me in touch with whats going on the world around me.