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: 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. 

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

 
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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.

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.

 
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Review from Guidestar
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.

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.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Throughout the year, I take time to volunteer for Next Step. Specifically, I've had the pleasure to volunteer at the Care Dependent weekend. We come together for 72 hours to laugh, share, play and heal in an opportunity cherished by all involved. Many of the participants suffer from the debilitating aftereffects of having cancer as a younger child. Through strokes, tumors, surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation, these young adults are no longer able to live by themselves and must rely on their caregivers for the rest of their lives. Next Step provides these weekends to participants for free and creates an experience that they (and I) cherish. Their innovative programming, activities, and structure helps families share resources, knowledge, and love.

In addition to those weekends, I have interacted heavily with the organization staff and the Executive Director. I find them extremely professional, fun, passionate about their cause, and generally lovely. I look forward to every interaction I have with Next Step and think the work they do is amazing and necessary.

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

Access to participants, user reviews, return users

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

Increase volunteer opportunities, more specific training and engagement of volunteers.

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?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have served the Next Step Fund organization as a peer mentor and as one suffering from an ailment. The organization is comprised of passionate and dedicated staffers who are giving of themselves so sacrificially and fight for the marginalized in society. This is a wonderful organization in every way imaginable. It is one of a kind. It is a great to have kind hearted people in the world who still care and advocate for the sick and often poor and deprived.

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

Creating more awareness about my disease and helping to raise funds in a wine tasting event by talking about my experiences living with the disease.

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

I wouldn't make any changes as they are a perfect model for other organizations.

 
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Review from Guidestar
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  

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  

Next Step was absolutely amazing! Seriously. I'm 21 and cancer often left me lonely, but at NS I met so many other yung adults who could really understand me. There was nothing forced about it. The activities covered everything I needed intellectually and socially as a YA w/cancer. I'm n the hospital having just received a Bone Marrow transplant; the wisdom of friends I met at NS helped me mentally prepare for this.

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

A large way.

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

I would make the program last a day or 3 longer.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a parent of two young people with a life threatening illness. I have watched my kids, and many others, reach the difficult age when it becomes harder and harder to access resources as well as positive social experiences. As a a result of our frustration with this lack, my daughter and I became advocates on behalf of Youth with special health needs on a national level. I was fortunate to find Next Step and promptly volunteered. Both of my daughters and I were involved with the Care program and we were overwhelmed with how well this organization "gets it"! Young people with special health needs and their families came together in a recreational environment and had FUN while gaining knowledge about resources, and tips for transitioning from a pediatric health model to an adult one, as well as other helpful information. Families and youth gained strength from one another and lifelong friendships were formed. Everyone left the event with useful action steps to improve the quality of his/her life. And there were many self-esteem building actvities in the schedule which, for this population, is invaluable! I personally facilitated a discussion for the parents around resources such as Vocational Rehabilitation, Social Security, Insurance, and housing. I learned a lot myself about how things differ from state to state. I also thought it was amazing that so many activities were available that gave participants an opportunity to develop their personal strengths. I am glad that a program like Next Step exists and will continue to support and make referrals to this fine organization!

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

Although my daughter and I were there to faciliate groups and inform participants on various subjects realted to transition, I learned a great deal as well. I was also grateful to be a part of a positive experience for youth with special health needs and their families because, in my work, there is a lot of negative.

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

Expand it!

 
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Review from Guidestar