Step Up helps girls of color in underserved communities develop the skills, relationships, and access needed to graduate from high school as conﬁdent, college bound, career-focused women ready to join the next generation of female leaders.
Founded in 1998 by Kaye Popofsky Kramer, Step Up is a national non-profit organization that serves women and girls across the country, with anchor programs in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York City. Step Up believes that when all girls have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, our communities will be more just and will flourish.
Step Up believes that when all girls have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, our communities will be more just and will flourish.
Step Up girls represent a multitude of races, ethnicities and identities, all emboldened through meaningful mentoring relationships to use their voices and skills to address inequities, reject racism and build coalitions that strengthen their abilities to be future leaders. 97% of Step Up girls identify as members of communities of color.
Step Up creates and implements impactful after-school and mentorship programs that are open to all girls enrolled in one of our Step Up partner high schools. We bring our after-school programming, designed to empower teens to become confident, college-bound and career-focused to each campus one or two days a week for a two-hour session. Mentorship opportunities are open to Step Up members in which teens and women can participate in blended (group) mentorship workshops.
key milestones and achievements
Over 98% of Step Up teens graduate from high school, versus the national average of 85%
100% of Step Up teens have access to multiple professional women role models (including virtually!) After just one year of Step Up after-school programs, teens are more confident and place a higher value on getting a college degree. Step Up is a special place where we all propel the fulfillment of potential. We take pride in our core values from which we develop our culture, our brand, and our impact strategies.
Emerging research shows that girls' social and emotional learning is most impacted through group mentorship. We introduce our girls to many women in various industries who’ve made different choices. The girls are inspired by all of you, not just one of you. And that’s great news for busy professional women. Mentor once and you’re empowering teens to think about and plan for life after high school.
Valeria G., Step Up Class of 2020 Valeria is 18 and will be attending UC Santa Cruz
“Step Up is especially comprehensive in that it also recognizes and prioritizes the importance of mental health in its mission to support underrepresented communities. I’m not the only girl in Step Up to be dealing with traumas or depression, and in communities like mine, resources aren’t always there, and families aren’t always accepting. Being conﬁdent and college-bound is only part of the equation to success, and I’m just thankful Step Up knows it takes a healthy heart and mind to get there too.”
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