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.
Results: Next Step has served over 3,000 deserving young people at retreats and educational workshops across the country.
Target demographics: Teenagers and young adults with cancer, HIV and sickle cell disease in New England and beyond.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 350 beneficiaries per year
Geographic areas served: New England, National
Programs: Strive for teens and young adutls with Sickle Cell, One Love for teens and young adults living with HIV, Face2Face for teens and young adults with cancer and Family for our young adults who are care dependent.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 04-3579298
617-864-2921
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Community Reviews

Rating: 4 stars  

I really like Next Step, they are very attentive to our needs. When help is needed they are there every step of the way.

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

STRIVE

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

change nothing, they are amazing!

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Rating: 4 stars  

I really like Next Step, they are very attentive to our needs. When help is needed they are there every step of the way.

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

STRIVE

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

change nothing, they are amazing!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The Next Step fosters a sense of community bound by compassion and understanding crucial to those of us anesthetized by unspoken fear. As a young adult participant in a cancer retreat in 2010, I was newly diagnosed and awakened to the strength in others and then myself. That inspiration from other survivors and The Next Step staff was quite powerful. To support The Next Step is to support the core of humanity, those of us who were/are vulnerable. Their prosperous program growth and partnerships over the years is evidence of their commitment to others where there is an absence of direct, meaningful service. I am proud to have experienced the retreat where I formed meaningful connections of friendship.

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

my personal growth as a survivor and friend by way of attendance at this retreat.

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

wish to expand their operating budget to allow more opportunities for their programming. Had I the money, I would to!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Next Step serves a population that is all too often forgotten. Maneuvering through young adulthood is difficult enough, but to navigate such a challenging time straddled with a serious illness presents obstacles most of us are fortunate not to experience. The amazing staff and volunteers of Next Step work tirelessly to help these brave young adults not only make it through, but thrive during the journey. I know the director personally, and he is one of the most selfless, hard working, inspirational men I have ever had the privilege to know. He spends weekends hands-on at workshops with the wonderful young adults who make up the population he is dedicated to serving, and days and nights relentlessly raising funds so he can help "just one more". If you want to feel the world becoming a better place, spend a day with Bill Kubicek, or volunteer at a Next Step workshop or event. You won't regret it, and you'll never forget it.

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

Meeting and speaking with Next Step program participants, alumni and their parents and siblings.

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

Indentify and organize a nationwide volunteer network to bring the life changing programs of Next Step to young adults with serious illnesses in every state in America.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Life is full of challenges - most of us are lucky or fortunate to be healthy enough to meet these hurdles without the extra challenge of sickness. Next Step drew me to it like no other organization has or could. They do amazing life altering things for so many. The transition from adolescence to adulthood is hard enough. Next Step helps with that transition when sickness and health issues complicate. Bringing compassion, skills and an inexhaustible supply of humor, Next Step fills a void of support; it teaches people how to start living their lives and stop living their diagnosis.

My wife Rose offered me an opportunity to give back - she brought me to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in CT. From there she and Bill Kubicek gave me the life changing opportunity to help Next Step reach around the world.

Thank you,
Stephen W. Starnes - Chairman - Next Step

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

Weekend retreet, board meetings, fund raising and personal contact

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

More money to reach more people who ask for our help. There is never enough time in a day!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Our daughter Emily as there at the beginning of Next Step, so we feel more than qualified to tell you just how very important Next Step is. When Emily aged out of her beloved camp, she needed a group, a place where she could find the support of her peers. Em’s brain tumor left her with significant permanent disabilities and medical problems. She was struggling and socially isolated. Our search for a support group was a difficult endeavor. At one group we attended, Em was the youngest there by at least 40 years. We realized there were limited programs for young adults survivors of serious illness. When Emily joined Next Step, she found support, friendship and community. It was also a great comfort to us, her caretakers. Through Next Step, we were able to access resources, and network to other young adult programs. Next Step was extremely important in Em’s life until she passed away a little over a year ago. It is vital that Next Step receives the financial support and attention it deserves so it can continue to reach out and help the many young adult survivors out there who feel very much alone.

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

attending Next Step retreats

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

None

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I went with my disabled daughter to a retreat weekend. I can say that these weekends are most important social events in her life. She is able to get together with people who have and are overcoming the same issues in their lives. But the most important thing for her is that she gets to play. Even though she can't climb, she can still zip and feels included. For my part, I get a break too. I don't have to prepare and clean up after every meal or activity. I get a chance to play, too. And there is little out there for caregivers.

Next Step gives us a change to pace and a time to be happy.

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

my everyday life and that of my daughter's.

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

Try to expand their services. They do an incredible job with what they are doing.

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

How did you find this group?

through the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

It was my first and only retreat after finishing the cancer treatment. Having gone through this illness at this young age, kind of left me alone from my normal world and at this retreat I found that I am a part of this world too, there are people who have been through or going through what I have been through. I found my second family there. Very empowering, compassionate and stress free retreat it was. Great work done by all of them. Thank you so much and wish you all the best.

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

a retreat.

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

have them conduct more of these kind of retreats for survivors to make them feel - a part of this world.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been to several Next Step weekend retreats for young adult survivors and their caregivers. These weekends are an unmatched experience because no other organization in our area provides this type of service to this population. They are restful, fun, and empowering, and are an amazing opportunity for fellowship w/ others who 'walk the walk'. Seeing someone who is wheelchair bound be team lifted to the top of a climbing wall is a priceless experience for all involved. Then. to watch them break into a full smile as they descend a zipline is the icing on the cake.
The ice breakers, fun and creative games, and singalongs, encompass everyone's needs regardless of their challenges. This is not an easy thing to pull off, and Next Step does it VERY well. You leave the weekend feeling renewed, loved, and cared for.

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

-Seeing the joy of my daughter, who is relatively socially isolated due to her challenges, as she mingles w/ other adults. - Feeling renewed to continue to face the daily challenges as a parent of a young adult w/ brain injury and ongoing medical needs.

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

Offer more weekends in other locations.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The perfect place to meet people with your same condition, very friendly place to be when it seem that the world is coming down on you, very helpful and the people in charge are the best, i really enjoy my self. So many topics where covered , you will walk away with a lot of information, i really didn't want to walk away but got to let others enjoy too. Good luck with all.

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

Very helpful in my life.

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

Getting transportation to and from for those that needed.

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