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Steppingstone Scholars, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Educational Services, Special Education, Student Services

Mission: The Steppingstone Scholars program prepares motivated schoolchildren for acceptance and success at college preparatory schools. These schools include, public,independent and parochial schools in the Philadelphia area. Students are accepted into the Scholars Program in fourth grade, begin the 14-month academic preparation component during the summer before fifth grade, and begin attending their new schools in the sixth grade. The Scholars Program comprises every phase of the Scholars' progression through the program, from admission in the fouth grade to graduation from college.

Results: Of the 128 Scholars who have gone through the program, from 5th grade through high school, 87% entered college. Of these, 97% are still on track to graduate, or have already graduated. This year, 100% of Steppingstone’s high school seniors graduated from high school, as compared to 64% of their peers in the Philadelphia School District.

Community Stories

9 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the Dean of Students at one of the independent schools attended by Steppingstone graduates. Without exception, the Steppingstone scholars are well-prepared to take on our challenging curriculum and be successful. They are resilient and serious about their studies and are comfortable accessing support from their teachers and other adults in the community. The staff at Steppingstone stays in touch with the students and with the school to make sure they are doing well and to continue to support them. The students always acknowledge how being in the Steppingstone program changed their lives. We are grateful for our ongoing connection with this wonderful organization and it is a joy to see talented and hard-working young people moving on to college and beyond with confidence and enthusiasm!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Steppingstone has been a blessing in disguise. As a parent they opened my eyes as well as provided guidance and the tools necessary to provide such. They always have a listening ear and offer help and advice with a smile. Thumbs up!!! They are leading our children in the right direction.

Daneen Webster G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Steppingstone has truly opened my eyes to what quality education can be for my children! I have two children that are scholars proving that Steppingstone is committed to the betterment of families. If ever an opportunity to share my Steppingstone experience arise I shout it loud and proud. Steppingstone is the best organization ever!

Kamika K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Stepping Stones has given my son a chance that he would not have gotten. He Is in a great school and able to be himself and learn. The staff at Stepping Stones was very helpful through the admission process and is still there 4 year's later.

Shaun4

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a steppingstone scholar of over 8 years, this place had a lasting affect on my growth as a person and student. This program gives a child great educational tools from English to study skills. The bonds you create with the other scholars and staff will last you a lifetime. Mr. Mensah, the program's leader/director has followed me all the way through High School and even came to my graduation. If you want your young 4th grader to go take it to the next level and be enriched, this is the perfect program for them. Not to mention you don't pay a dime.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son has been in Steppingstone Scholars for 2 years. Steppingstone Scholars is one of the best educational program that I have heard of. The program has provided my son with the tools to attend a better school with more opportunities to further himself in life. He would have never been able to attend a private school without the help of Steppingstone Scholars. The program has wonderful staff that looked after the children and made sure they used all their skills to their best ability that would make them successful in their new schools and further endeavors. This program also provides services for my children after they graduates from high school and college. I wish more children could have the same opportunities just like my son but I know it's depends on funding. I'm so thankful for Steppingstone Scholars!

Andy N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a high school Steppingstone Scholar, I have been with the organization for about five-six years. Steppingstone Scholars Inc. is truly remarkable, as a Scholar, the support staff helps us with just about anything we need and they are great mentors for us. The Step It Up Program for incoming 7th-10th graders after the initial two-summers as incoming 5th and 6th graders is a great program offered by Steppingstone to get ahead in the upcoming school year and reconnect with fellow Steppingstone classmates. After the two-summers, Scholars have the option of entering into academically rigorous private and public schools with the ultimate goal of being prepared for college. Six years ago, I can remember sitting in the Steppingstone Information Meeting listening to Ms. Caryn Rivers talk about the program and what it offers. Coming from an elementary school where the curriculum was relatively facile for me, it was that one information meeting that had a major life-changing impact on me. As much of a cliché this may sound, after being accepted into the program, I did not know what to expect but I knew this could end up changing me forever. After the initial two summers, I was fortunate enough to attend an academically rigorous school, one that ended up to be a great fit for me. Steppingstone played a major role in the "placement" process, ensuring that scholars not only get accepted to schools but the school is a great fit for them. I attended the Step It Up program ran by the fabulous Ms. Elaine Leigh during the last few summers and it turned out to be a great way to get academic enrichment during the summer.Although I did not realize it at the time of the information meeting (I was about 9 years old), the ultimate goal is attending college, the goal that I will achieve in about three years.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Due to my son going into 5th grade the upcoming school year, my personal experience with the organization only extends one year. Therefore my review will be short. Expectations & the admissions process were are clear. Steppingstone Scholars, Inc. has lived up to all of my expectations thus far and in many cases exceeded them. I consider them to be a resource of immeasurable value. All members of the staff that I have come into contact with have been helpful & friendly. My son's academic and social needs were met by the enrichment program this summer. I am looking forward to Steppingstone Scholars role in my son's future. My family feels fortunate to have a scholar in the program.

Nichole M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am proud to say that my daughter is a Steppingstone Scholar who is currently a college junior at a top university. It would not be fair to deny that Steppingstone has been instrumental in her success.

The summer program is tough as the kids have to give up their summers, go to bed early, complete homework assignments, etc while their peers are doing what all children look forward to doing over the summer- play, play, and more play. However, the benefits of the program and the fact the staff make it so enjoyable, makes the kids realize they wouldn't trade places with their friends. In fact, my daughter looked forward to returning to the program each day. I find that the kids also form lifelong friendships with other scholars. Moreover, the staff really push the children to succeed while seeing the best in them. They not only work hard, but they play hard as well. The program not only opens doors for them to attend some of the best independent schools, but it gives them the tools to succeed there as well.

There was a completely different staff during my daughter's time there. Yet, we can still call on them in times of need. It was also a joy to have staff show up at my daughter's middle school and high school graduations- treasured moments for sure.

Time and space does not allow me to express how wonderful this program is and that being a scholar is indeed a privilege and opportunity that everyone should take advantage of. It has been an amazing ride from the very first meeting and throughout high school. I am grateful. :-)