Spotlights

Betsy and Rick Edie: A Steppingstone Love Story

February 14, 2024
Partner
At Steppingstone, the relationships we form make us who we are, and make our work possible. Amid the many transformative relationships at the core of our work—mentorship, friendship, family ties, and so much more—there are even a few love stories. The first Steppingstone love story takes us back to the early days of the program, when two educators met on a cool November day in 1992.

Valentina Ramirez

January 22, 2024
Scholar
Meet Valentina Ramirez: a high school senior showing leadership to help Scholars and their families navigate language barriers. Valentina is devoted to giving back to her community, and she leads with empathy based on personal experience. A current senior at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School (BB&N), she recalls the many struggles she went through filling out applications during the admissions process.

Asjah Monroe ’94

November 13, 2023
Alumni
A message for Scholars, from Steppingstone Alumna Asjah Monroe ’94: “You’re capable. That’s already a given.” This hard-earned wisdom is a truth Asjah found within herself, on a path through college, graduate school, and creating and leading a nonprofit of her own.

Zachory Durham

October 17, 2023
Scholar
At Steppingstone, career readiness is just as important as college access. Our Alumni community of more than 1,600 professionals have established an impressive array of careers, with large concentrations in the fields of business, law, and health sciences. Meet Zachory Durham. He is studying to be a pilot.

Camlinh To ’04

September 21, 2023
Alumni
“Understanding yourself is so important and every opportunity you have to discover who you are is incredible. I needed someone to tell me that when I was younger. Understand yourself and discover what boundaries you can push.”

AJA Foundation

September 20, 2023
Partner
A creative sponsorship by AJA Foundation built capacity for several of its education grantees to participate in the 14th annual conference of Steppingstone’s National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA). Learn why AJA Foundation’s executive director, Colleen McKenna, describes the initiative as “impactful” and “one of the most rewarding experiences of my career”—and why grantees even called it “life-changing.”

Merry Chin ’05

July 27, 2023
Alumni
“My mission in life is to really improve educational equity across…everything. There’s a lot of work to be done; there are unlimited ways to build solutions for this space.”

Rivers Givers

June 7, 2023
Partner
Recently, Steppingstone was one of three Massachusetts nonprofits to be awarded a grant on behalf of Rivers Givers, a group of future philanthropists out of Rivers School in Weston, Massachusetts.

Dalinda Ifill-Pressat ’99

April 26, 2023
Alumni
“How can we pour into the youth so that they can see value in themselves and a future for themselves?” asked Dalinda Ifill-Pressat ’99, who was recently honored as an emerging leader and young visionary at Steppingstone’s National Partnership for Educational Access conference, speaking as a panelist to over 400 attendees from across the country.

Jude Poisson

March 29, 2023
Scholar
Jude Poisson, a junior at Buckingham Browne & Nichols (BB&N), spent his fall a little differently than other high school students—traveling Europe, studying French culture, living with a host family, and creating lifelong friendships.

Shihua Wu ’10

February 28, 2023
Alumni
In 2020, fresh from Boston College with a degree in marketing and finance, Shihua Wu ’10 dove fearlessly into the world of start-ups. Now with a life in New York and an established career at Silicon Valley Bank, Shihua makes time for Steppingstone as an Alumnus, volunteering and eagerly connecting with Scholars of today.

Bailee Lopes

February 20, 2023
Scholar
If you’ve seen I Wanna Dance with Somebody (2022), you likely know that the Whitney Houston biopic was filmed in Massachusetts. But, did you know a Steppingstone Scholar starred as young Bobbi Kristina, Whitney’s daughter? Meet Bailee Lopes, a Boston sixth grader who made her debut on the big screen this past winter. We recently sat down with Bailee to learn about this unique experience, along with her other interests and goals.

Thomas H. Lee Partners

01/30/2023
Partner
A new Steppingstone partner, Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL), is breaking down barriers to the private equity and financial services industry. A generous investment of $300,000 over three years allows Steppingstone to build out the Career Catalyst Project which supports Scholars in exploring potential career paths, making career connections, and developing professional skills and confidence. In addition to becoming a financial partner of Steppingstone, the THL Charitable Foundation team is hosting events and offering resources to demystify the private equity and financial services industries.

Makeda Daniel ’09

12/20/2022
Alumni
Makeda Daniel ’09 is in a unique position within our community. She has more than 10 years of Steppingstone memories, and from myriad perspectives: as a Scholar, a peer leader, a teaching assistant, an Alumna, an Advisor. Now, as Manager of Alumni Relations, she builds community around the stories of many, with palpable enthusiasm.

Isaac Amado ’11

November 28, 2022
Alumni
“On my first day, the COO of Leeward Investments greeted me and helped me settle in...I said to myself, ‘You’re here now, this is what you studied for in school, let’s see if you can apply this in real time.’” Isaac recently graduated from Regis College (Class of 2022), where he majored in Global Business Management and minored in Economics and Data Analytics. Although his interest in finance would ultimately lead him to a summer internship at Leeward Investments, LLC, he attributes part of his journey into the field to the support given by his college and Steppingstone Advisors during his freshman year.

Idiris Egal ’15

November 2, 2022
Scholar
Steppingstone Scholar Idiris Egal, a second-year student at Duke University, has a list of accomplishments in the world of political advocacy and politics longer than many people twice his age. With election season in full swing, it's only fitting we highlight Idiris’ path and gather his sage advice on how to get involved in political advocacy. He credits education, mentorship, and his Steppingstone community with leading to a variety of path-changing opportunities—the most recent of which brought him to Ed Markey’s office on Capitol Hill this past summer. 

Jules Charles

September 28, 2022
Scholar
As Scholar Jules Charles proudly explains, he took on a new role for Steppingstone this year: Admission Ambassador.The Park School seventh grader gets to share his experiences and answer prospective parents’ questions. He enthusiastically offers his thoughts on his education and his teachers and advisors. He finds one of his most common answers is “Steppingstone is amazing.” As a proof point, he emphasizes how it helped him get into Park, “this great school!”

Michelle Barahona Escoto ’12, Naoise Kelleher ’11

September 28, 2022
Alumni
So often, Scholars learn from Alumni while exploring careers and seeking mentors. But this summer, Scholars truly had a chance to call two Alumni their teachers during our summer program at Milton Academy. Meet Michelle Barahona Escoto ’12, summer math teacher, and Naoise Kelleher ’11, summer writing teacher.

Mariel Novas '00

Alumni
As the devoted Steppingstone Alumna and board member witnessed the reckoning with systemic racism, she saw a country already desensitized to the ravages of COVID within communities of color. “We have to start operating from a place of healing,” she reflected. “It has to start with self and then radiate out from there.”

Jean- Luc Teixeira '04

Alumni
“Steppingstone definitely taught me to be a leader,” says Jean-Luc Teixeira. Since his days as a Scholar, he’s carried those lessons with him in every aspect of life, school, and work. Today, in his career as a civil engineer, “I try to speak up for people, to be someone others depend on.”

Archi Lora '08

Alumni
From Archi Lora’s earliest days as a Scholar, “Steppingstone felt like home.”

Sofia Teixeira '94

Alumni
This past fall, Sofia Teixeira dove wholeheartedly into “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” As one of 250 inaugural fellows of CEO Action for Racial Equity, the 1994 Steppingstone Alumna now spends her days fully devoted to a massive mission: identifying, developing and promoting public policies and corporate engagement strategies that will address systemic racism, social injustice, and improve societal well-being. And she’s doing it with her company’s support

Efe Osifo '01

Alumni
Amid a year fraught with uncertainty, Efe Osifo’s faith in that power for good gives him hope. “If enough people are on board, we can shape, move, and change things.” A 2001 Steppingstone Alumnus and deeply dedicated teacher, Efe also finds hope every day in his students. “I inherently believe that every kid wants to learn and do the right thing,” he reflects.

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