As part of a new strategic plan, Steppingstone sought to expand its impact beyond Boston. In 2006, Steppingstone convened a meeting of 25 programs to explore a partnership that would support college access and college readiness on a national scale. This conversation resulted in the creation of the National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA) in 2007. NPEA is a membership organization that connects the people, practices, and innovations essential for eliminating barriers to educational access and college and career success for students from historically marginalized communities. Over the past 15+ years, NPEA has grown to serve more than 360 members in 37 states.
In 2007, Steppingstone formally partnered with a second affiliate called the Hartford Youth Scholars Foundation, and the first class of 31 Scholars began The Steppingstone Academy Hartford’s program of academic preparation the following summer. Today, Hartford Youth Scholars operates independently and prepares students for admission to independent day and boarding schools in ninth grade.