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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Steppingstone Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Primary & Elementary Schools, Secondary & High Schools

Mission: Founded in 1990, The Steppingstone Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that develops and implements programs that prepare underserved students for educational opportunities that lead to college success. Based on the premise that, regardless of circumstance, children can achieve at high levels with effective preparation and support, Steppingstone programs emphasize rigorous standards and achieve meaningful results.

Results: 99% of Scholars who complete The Steppingstone Academy graduate from high school, 92% enroll at four-year colleges, and more than 80% earn their degree from a four-year college within six years.

Target demographics: Steppingstone supports families who dream of college for their children, but face serious obstacles. The average income for Steppingstone Academy families is less than $40,000 a year. Steppingstone Scholars commit in 4th or 5th grade to the hard work necessary to graduate from college. They enjoy challenges, thrive among other motivated classmates, and are typically the first in their families to earn a college degree.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,600 Scholars and their families

Geographic areas served: Boston

Programs: The Steppingstone Academy, the College Success Academy, the National Partnership for Educational Access

Community Stories

52 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a Steppingstone Scholar in 2001. For the past 15 years, Steppingstone has played a monumental role in each chapter of my academic life. I wouldn't have made it to this point without the organization, the teachers, and the employees. I will be forever indebted. Thanks Steppingstone.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can comfortably say that The Steppingstone Foundation played an integral in preparing me and many of my older siblings for the sometimes very difficult transition from attending a public vs. private school. Since completing our middle and high school experiences, we have all maintained a connection with the Steppingstone family via very active and welcoming Alumni outreach activities.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A program to prepare students for some of the best high schools and , more importantly, the difficulties of life. The teachers and administrators genuinely care about the students and want to see them achieve.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was accepted to Steppingstone after my mom moved to Boston from the Bronx in search of better educational opportunities. As a fifth grader, I was a little hesitant to join a 14-month program that only seemed like additional school but little did I know that Steppingstone would change the course of my life. Steppingstone became a second family for me where I would receive academic and social support. Steppingstone teachers and advisors always believed in me and encouraged me to fight for my dreams. There aren't words to explain the impact that Steppingstone has had on my life and I will be forever grateful to them.

Jasmine26

Client Served

Rating: 5

This non-profit changed the trajectory of my life. Being an inner city minority student I wouldn't dream of some of the opportunities I've been afforded.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a Steppingstone Scholar from 1994-1996. It was the most significant and formative educational experience of my life. It is the reason why I was able to attend a private school and later on one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country. Steppingstone is a high impact non-profit that is filling a critical gap in the education inner city children receive.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My teacher invited me to this program and it changed my life. They were able to provide me not only the knowledge to be successful at my exam school but provided me everything from rides, uniforms, book bags and encouragement all through the way till college. I recommend this program to anyone who looking for a chance to be successful.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I entered into Steppingstone in 1999/2000. I was nine years old and my parents wanted me to have a better chance to receive a greater education. They enrolled me in Steppingstone. Over the next two summers and one school year, I was prepared for that better education. More importantly I was pushed and inspired to become a better me. I still have the letter I wrote to myself before leaving the program at Boston Latin Academy. I am proud to say that I made my child-self proud! Going to Steppingstone prepared me to take on and graduate from Boston Latin School. It taught me test taking skills and LATIN to do wel on the entrance exam, SATs, and even GRE. It gave me some of the longest lasting friendships and networking circle that I have today! I am happy that Adrian was my buddy on that Saturday as I went to take that test at the Holland School to get into Steppingstone. I am a proud graduate of 2001! A veteran of the summer talent shows. A past participant in the Saturday Study Halls and someone who is forever grateful to this program for giving a bright girl from Roxbury the chance to shine!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Steppingstone has impacted my life in so many ways, it could take a lifetime to explain it all.

Client Served

Rating: 5

There isn't another foundation like Steppingstone and I don't think there ever will be. No other educational experience that I've had since or that I had before compares to the Steppingstone experience. They were rigorous yet supportive, and they always balanced high expectations and accountability with just as much personal attention. Despite the fact that I've always been talented, I don't know if I would have made it to college if I hadn't gone to Steppingstone.

It's been more than 20 years and they still keep in touch with me. And on the occasions that I've seen or talked to Mr. Danziger (the co-founder) over the years, he's treated me with the same level of familiarity and warmth, even though it's been 22 years.

I truly love these people and I remember mostly every name and face of the teachers I had at Steppingstone; their impact was so lasting. This organization does what they say they will do.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Steppingstone is an amazing program committed to the educational success of its students. I owe a lot of my educational opportunities to the support the teachers and advisors gave me. I love the connections I made with other scholars there. I'll never forget the great teachers I had with them. I can't say enough good things about steppingstone.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I graduated from the Steppingstone scholars program in 1999, and I can honestly say that the program shaped the course of my life in ways I never imagined. After completing Steppingstone In the sixth grade, I was accepted into a wonderful private school where I remained until my graduation from high school. The Steppingstone's program prepared me for academic success in high school and beyond. I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the program.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Steppingstone gave me the building blocks of learning how to focus, stay determined, and look for a solution from many different angles. That's something I have carried with me and has taken me to great heights in my industry.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Steppingstone made me see that there was so much more that I and my city had to offer! Growing up in Boston, I didn't have the exposure to amazing education, strong support systems, and confidence to excel that so many others are born into. Steppingstone showed me that I really do have options and my life does not have to be a dead-end or pipeline. I owe a lot to Steppingstone, which is why I work so hard and intend to give back.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Steppingstone Alum, I have nothing but great things to share about the foundation. Steppingstone served as a foundation to success. They pushed me, believed in me, supported me even after commencing, amongst various other things. I will never forget the lessons I learned from Steppingstone and credit this foundation of my success. I am a proud alum and believe all scholars benefit from the people that work here!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I graduated from Steppingstone in 2004. Without them, I am not sure where I would be now. I was able to have support academically and personally from a great team of staff. Even after I graduated (in 7th grade), I had the best support from Steppingstone to help me through high school and college!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended Steppingstones back in '98-'99 and have looked back on the experience fondly ever since. As the name of the organization states, the program was a 'steppingstone', an integral step on a pathway to success for me. I was exposed to activities, educational opportunities, and a diverse group of students that I would not have been privy to if not for the program. I cannot say enough about the staff and support systems in place to help the children in the program succeed. Thank you, Steppingstones!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Steppingstone Foundation helped me achieve my dreams: be successful in school, graduate from college, and find a great career. Having the extra academic support and coaching in middle school pushed me to be successful in middle and high school and beyond. I appreciate all that the Steppingstone Foundation did for me.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing, best experience for my daughter as well as my self as the parent, its amazing how much resources they have available to help our children to know that college is a possibility and how much they continue to help them threw out their growing years. Was bless to be part of such an amazing organization

Client Served

Rating: 5

My time as a Steppingstone Scholar was a truly transformative experience. I can genuinely say that Steppingstone prepared me for the challenging transition of coming from catholic grammar school to a top independent, private school. Throughout my high school and subsequent college experiences, the Steppingstone family has continuely reached out in an effort to stay connected and offer continued support. The Steppingstone Foundation is a very special organization and I can only hope that they continue to have such a significant impact of the lives of hopeful students around the country.