WELCOMING NEW SCHOLARS
GRADUATIONS & MILESTONES
142 NEW SCHOLARS AND FAMILIES JOIN THE STEPPINGSTONE COMMUNITY
CONGRATULATING THE CLASS OF 2018 AND CELEBRATING THIS YEARâ€™S MILESTONES
The Steppingstone Magazine - Spring 2018
Across the country, Steppingstone Scholars have been putting on their caps and gowns, celebrating earning their degrees, and preparing to enter the workforce and make their mark. Please join us in congratulating the class of 2018! This year, Scholars have graduated from: Amherst College Assumption College Bentley University Boston College Boston University Brandeis University Bridgewater State Brown University Bryant College Bucknell University College of the Holy Cross Columbia College, Chicago Cornell University Curry College Dartmouth College Emory University Endicott College Gannon University Harvard College Howard University Johnson C. Smith University Lehigh University Lesley University Mass. College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences Northeastern University Oberlin College Regis College Rhode Island College Saint Michael’s College Salem State University Simmons College Smith College Stonehill College Suffolk University Syracuse University Trinity College Tufts University Union College UMass Amherst UMass Boston UMass Dartmouth UMass Lowell Worcester Polytechnic Institute
On May 19, Steppingstone officially welcomed 142 new students into our community at our annual welcome event for Scholars and families. In just a few short weeks, these Scholars will walk into their first Steppingstone classrooms and begin their 12+ year journey with Steppingstone—through middle school, high school, college, career, and beyond. What do teachers have to say about working with the newest group of Steppingstone Scholars? “For the past five summers I have loved every minute of getting to know a new group of Scholars. This year’s Scholars will arrive feeling a little bit nervous, just like their predecessors, but within the first week, they’ll be raising their hands, helping each other with assignments, and clamoring to participate in class. It’s definitely going to be another awesome Steppingstone Summer!” MS. FINNIE ENGLISH/WRITING TEACHER
DIANA CHAVES ‘05 RUNS THE BOSTON MARATHON “I jumped at the offer to run the Boston Marathon for Steppingstone,” says Diana. “To me it was the perfect metaphor for my journey thus far. The marathon was a big challenge, something I had only dreamed about doing. But similar to other obstacles that I faced in my life, I felt confident that with Steppingstone by my side and as a marker for what I was capable of achieving, anything was possible.” Alumna Diana Chaves ’05 completed her first-ever marathon on April 16, running in memory of Mike Danziger, co-founder of Steppingstone. In partnership with our new Board of Young Professionals (BYP), Diana used the race as a platform to raise more than $16,000 to support current Steppingstone Scholars. Congratulations, Diana! And thank you to the entire BYP team!
SCHOLARS EXPLORE SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES
On March 3, 115 Scholars and 68 family members joined us for Steppingstone’s inaugural Step into Summer Fair. Despite wind, snow, and unusually frigid temperatures, Scholars were busy putting together their plans for the summer. Through a showcase of summer opportunities, mock interview meetings, 1-on-1 resume review sessions, and office hours with Steppingstone Advisors, Scholars in middle school and high school connected with opportunities to stay active (now that they’ve completed their summer classes through Steppingstone) and make themselves stand out when applying to college.
NPEA: CONNECTING PEOPLE, PRACTICES, & INNOVATIONS In April, hundreds of educators from across the country came together for Steppingstone’s 10th annual National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA) conference. This year, attendees met in New Orleans for three days packed with workshops, keynote addresses, networking, idea sharing, and professional development opportunities. Interested in learning more about our national impact? Head to www.educational-access.org.
Keynote speaker Anthony Abraham Jack, Harvard Graduate School of Education & Harvard University
LEADERSHIP. SERVICE. ACTIVISM. Every day, Steppingstone Scholars take a stand for equity and justice. They march at the front of protests, discuss bills with their senators, and give speeches at the State House. They work on service projects, pitch ideas for social impact work, and start movements in their schools. Here are just three of their many efforts this year.
IN THE CLASSROOM Sixth grade Scholars in Allston-Brighton and East Boston developed social impact projects as part of their Steppingstone curriculum. Through a grant from the One Bead program, each Steppingstone class received $1,000 and worked together to decide how to best use the funds to make a difference in their community. Scholars worked to strengthen their leadership and activism skills by focusing on public speaking, effectively pitching their projects, and collaborating with a team. In May, teams presented their ideas to classmates and voted on how to use the grant. Here’s the winning pitch from the Scholars in Allston-Brighton:
IN THE COMMUNITY Each year, Steppingstone leads community service outings throughout Boston. Over the past six months, Scholars have volunteered with Steppingstone at: • Cradles to Crayons • The MLK Day of Service • Community Servings Most recently, Scholars and staff supported Project Bread by joining the 50th annual Walk for Hunger. The team not only finished the entire course—a 20 mile route that took around five hours to complete—they also raised funds to help fight hunger in Massachusetts.
ON THE FRONT LINES The school shooting in Parkland has been a call to action for students across the country, including three Steppingstone Scholars at Boston Latin Academy for whom the threat of gun violence is a part of their daily lives. “Gun violence isn’t just school shootings; it’s also the violence that a lot of people face in their communities and when they’re walking home from school,” said Vikiana Petit-Homme, a junior from Hyde Park and a leader in Boston’s March For Our Lives movement. “People of color have been advocating for gun reform for decades. We want to make sure that schools are safe and that communities are safe too.”
communities of color inspired Joan Dotruong, a junior from Dorchester, to action. “No one at school was talking about the gun violence in our neighborhoods,” she explains. “That provoked me to start a movement in my school, so students could educate each other and bring nuance into the discussion.” Vikiana, a speaker at multiple March for Our Lives events, sees the clear link between equity, education, and gun violence. “If you invest in education equity in communities of color, there is a decrease in gun violence. If you invest in job opportunities, you decrease gun violence. Equity will lead into equality, which in itself will help with gun violence.”
“It is an uphill battle. But if students who Nathalie Diaz-Troncoso, a junior are the victims of gun from Roxbury, agrees: “People of color violence can all come are disproportionately affected by gun violence, and we need to be here on together, we can do the front lines.” That’s why Nathalie something for everyone chose to join the walk out on March 14, which gave her the opportunity to speak who’s affected by it.” directly with Massachusetts senators and representatives. “On top of our homework, and studying, and preparing for college, teachers need to know that we are also fighting for our lives.” The lack of media coverage on Boston shootings that impact
NATHALIE DIAZ-TRONCOSO LEFT: Nathalie shows her sign during the walkout. Photo by Derek Kouyoumjian. RIGHT: Vikiana speaks at a March For Our Lives event. Photo by Amanda Sabga.
Please contact Kate Wood at email@example.com or 617-423-6300 ext. 238 if you’d like to attend an event or make a donation to support Steppingstone Scholars.
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