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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations

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.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Sarah50

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended the Face Forward program through Next Step for the first time last summer. I have Mitochondrial Disease which is a progressive energy metabolism disorder that causes multiple organ failure. I was a little hesitant when I first got to the camp, but it was probably one of the best weeks of my life. I met so many amazing kids and after just 4 days it felt like we had known each other for a year. The staff were all so kind and awesome and the environment was incredible, very supportive, encouraging and positive. I love that there is a camp where I could go even with all my medical needs and one where all the other kids understand what it's like to live with a disease that changes your life and still keep on going and living a happy life. I made good friends who I am in regular touch with. Overall it was incredible and I am counting down till the next summer session! Face Forward gets me through the hard times!

2 Sarah306

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with leukemia in 1990 at the ages of five. I was isolated and stigmatized by classmates and school staff alike. Not until I started attending the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp would I begin to feel comfortable with myself and speaking and smiling.

Then when I turned 16 and too old for camp, Next Step came along and changed me life. As a young adult they gave me confidence and skills I carry through my life, abs today I am able to volunteer with amazing youth!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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. 

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

ShardeF

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Review from Guidestar