The Steppingstone Magazine - Spring 2017

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Joining ThE worKForcE

A YEAr in PhoTos

BiTE-siZEd BullETin reCorD-Breaking events,

sCholars ConneCt with

Dive into the worlD of

Professionals & Begin to

stePPingstone & see what

new oPPortUnities,

BUilD their Careers

sCholars have Been UP to

invitations, anD More

The Steppingstone Magazine - Spring 2017

Introducing HBX CorE Scholars now have the opportunity to earn credentials from Harvard Business School. Starting this summer, the collaboration between Harvard Business School’s HBX and The Steppingstone Foundation will bring HBX’s online business fundamentals program – CORe or the Credential of Readiness – to Steppingstone Scholars enrolled in colleges around the country. The collaboration reduces financial barriers by offering special pricing for Steppingstone participants. “This is a great way for Scholars to build their resumes, skill set, and professional network during the summer,” explains Matt Waldman, Steppingstone’s Senior Director of College Services. Our gratitude goes out to everyone at HBX, with special thanks to Bharat Anand, who was instrumental in bringing this opportunity to the Steppingstone community. We can’t wait to see how this collaboration develops over the next few months!

Linking sisters to scholars We’re so honored that The Links Foundation has selected Steppingstone as a partner. A national organization of professional women of color, Links believes volunteer service is a powerful way for members to improve and enrich their communities. To help both groups achieve their missions, representatives from Links worked closely with Steppingstone Advisors to create a Menu of Engagement, which outlines the various ways Links members can get involved via the new partnership, Sisters Linked 2 Scholars. Women affiliated with Links will lead workshops, serve as tutors and mentors, host career panels, and assemble a library of books for Scholars to enjoy. We look forward to working with Links mentors in the years to come and are grateful to Earlene Avalon, Beverly Edgehill, Stephanie Pinder-Amaker, and all the women at Links for making this partnership possible.

Building a nationwide movement

Every year, the National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA), an initiative of The Steppingstone Foundation, hosts a conference that has been described as a “gold standard” event, fostering quality, collaboration, and innovation throughout the college access field. This April, NPEA’s 10th Anniversary Conference - the largest yet - didn’t disappoint, as 475 professionals from throughout the country gathered for workshops, panels, networking, seminars, roundtables, and more. While it’s almost impossible to choose a single highlight from the three-day event, we were particularly moved by Christopher Emdin (top left), keynote speaker and author of For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood...and the Rest of Y’all Too, who told the audience: “The framework we’ve adopted to be able to help young folk to be better means that we are coming to the work with inherent perceptions about their inabilities....And my argument is simply this: if you are truly invested in engaging young folk about college access, the work has to begin first with seeing them as inherently brilliant from the beginning.”

We’re also thrilled to congratulate the Des Moines “I Have A Dream” Foundation, which won NPEA’s 2017 Award for Excellence. And we can’t say thank you enough to our sponsors, presenters, speakers, and attendees for making the conference a success once again. We look forward to continuing these vital conversations throughout 2017 and beyond and we hope to see you in New Orleans for the 2018 conference!

your spring BuLLetin From steppingstone

insider’s Look

you’re invited!

With classes Tue/Wed/Thu/Sat during fall and spring semester, six weeks of summer school, and dozens of workshops, trips, and events throughout the year, there is always something happening at Steppingstone. Want an insider’s look at our most important moments? Then subscribe to Steppingstone’s new Photo of the Month email series! It only takes a moment: Just send your name and preferred email address to

Looking for a backstage pass to all the excitement? Then you should join us on social media! steppingstonefoundation steppingstone90 steppingstonefoundation

Can you believe summer is right around the corner? This July and August, 300+ hardworking fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-grade Steppingstone Scholars from throughout Boston will spend six weeks on Milton Academy’s campus attending classes, exploring new subjects, and connecting with other students. When you visit our summer site, you’ll meet inspiring Scholars, sit in on classes, and experience firsthand the excitement and enthusiasm that define the Steppingstone experience. There’s no better way to get to know Steppingstone! classes start July 5. To schedule your visit, contact Kate wood at or (617) 423-6300, x238. we hope to see you this summer!

amBassador spotLight In March, Ambassadors Susan Boney, Erin Condron, and Kelly Segal hosted an event at the Brae Burn Country Club, where more than 50 new friends of Steppingstone mingled with supporters, chatted with Alumni, and learned about our work. The group heard from Steppingstone president Kelly Glew and from Reggie Farina ’94, an Alumnus from one of Steppingstone’s first classes.

Ambassadors Kelly Segal, Susan Boney, and Erin Condron hosted the event to build support for our mission.

Farina reflected on his Steppingstone experience by quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who said, “It’s all right to tell a man to lift himself by his own bootstraps, but it is cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.” Being a Steppingstone Scholar, Farina said, gave him the metaphorical boots he needed to lift himself to success. As a result of his hard work and persistence, Farina went on to graduate from Noble and Greenough School, Georgetown, and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. After several years working for Google, he’s now a Sales Director at Criteo. We left the event moved by Farina’s words, inspired by the group’s passion, and very grateful to our hosts, whose dedication made for such a fantastic event. stePPingstone news | PAgE 3


Let’s celebrate! achievements & Awards Eric Andrew ’94 founded a company, OffrBox, which just earned a spot on Built in NYC’s prestigious Top 50 Startups watchlist. Deanna Cox ’00 became Director of College Counseling at Mott Hall Bronx High School. Max Clermont ’01 is working to curb violence on the South Side of Chicago as Chief of Staff & Associate Director of Community Health Engagement for the Trauma Director at the University of Chicago Medicine.


Felix Liang ’06 accepted his first job: Associate of Program Operations at Teach for America. Dashaun Simon (Brimmer and May ’17) received the Harvard Book Award.

college is just around the corner It’s spring, and Scholars are busy preparing to embark on new adventures. High school seniors are eagerly anticipating the start of their college careers, and in just a few weeks, 100 college-age Scholars will earn their degrees and enter the workforce prepared to make their mark. Throughout the spring, we’ll share graduation photos and the latest college enrollment news. Until then, please join us in congratulating Scholars who have already received college acceptances and enjoy this peek at some of the schools that have accepted Steppingstone Scholars. Brown University College of the Holy Cross Denison University

Fiona Phie (Boston Latin Academy ’17) cofounded WOKE, an initiative that allows Boston students to discuss racial relations in their communities while earning community service hours and gaining leadership skills. She and her cofounder appeared on Boston Neighborhood Network News to discuss the program. Bergeline Hilaire (Boston Community Leadership Academy ’19) is busy driving change at Boston City Hall. In addition to serving on the Mayor’s Youth Council, she works with the Boston Center for Youth and Families three days a week. sixth grade scholars earned two $1,000 grants from the non-profit One Bead to create social action leadership projects. As always, we have more good news than we can squeeze into one column! Head to to read more achievements.

Gordon College Lesley University Loyola University Maryland Mount Ida College Northeastern University Suffolk University Tufts University UMass Amherst UMass Boston UMass Dartmouth Union College University of Hartford Wesleyan University Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Launching proFessionaL connections as scholars enter the professional world, many don’t have access to the networks other students rely on. At Steppingstone, we’re working to change that. to help close this opportunity gap, we launched a professional connections initiative, which builds relationships between college-aged scholars and professionals in their field of interest. since 2016, 28 Scholars have taken advantage of this new program. read one of their stories below.

Simon Acevedo (top), is a Steppingstone Scholar, graduate of Brimmer and May School, and Suffolk University freshman who has his eye on a career in business. Through Steppingstone, Simon recently connected with Marina Hatsopoulos (bottom), an entrepreneur who founded one of the world’s first 3D printing companies.



When I learned about Professional Connections through my Steppingstone Advisor, I wanted to be involved because it’s a great way to get insight into the business field and advice on what I can do now and in the future to prepare for my career.

I was interested in being involved in this program because I know how valuable a mentor’s experience can be in guiding someone who’s preparing for their career, and how powerful the professional network of a 50-year-old can be relative to the network of a teenager.

Mentorship is crucial for people in my shoes because we aspire to certain things that are not always represented by people like us. As a result, it can be hard to take the right steps and to feel encouraged. I knew that meeting with an entrepreneur would provide great insight because my mentor started her own company. Marina put my goals into perspective and gave advice on how to go about achieving them. Having a professional mentor sparked new conversations that might not have popped up with my academic or personal mentors.

Simon was striking in how confident he is: authentic and strong, open and honest, and very comfortable in his own skin. I loved his optimism and sense of possibility. As Simon moves through college toward a career, I hope I’m able to help him think things through so he can make thoughtful life decisions with more perspective than he might otherwise have. I would be proud to connect him with any relevant network to help him establish himself professionally.

“it was definitely an advantage to speak to someone who has accomplished things similar to what i hope to accomplish myself.” - siMon aCeveDo an insiDe look | PAgE 5

Snapshot: a busy school year at Steppingstone 1 Scholars showcase what they’ve learned in their after-school classes. Today’s challenge: If your family let you pick between two different allowances ($1.25 / day or $8.05 / week) which would you choose? 2 During a trip to Tufts University, Scholars design LEGO robots and get the inside scoop about life on campus. 3 Skating with Scholars at the Boston Common Frog Pond is one of our favorite traditions! 4 Diving into the complicated world of college admissions, Scholars review sample applications and learn how to become the strongest applicant possible. 5 Scholars hone their communication and teamwork skills at Steppingstone’s overnight retreat. The objective: Capture all of the balloons in your team’s color. The challenge: You’re blindfolded, and must rely on teammates to guide you through the maze. 6 Did you know that discussing art can be a powerful way to strengthen critical-thinking skills? Scholars head to the Museum of Fine Arts to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real masterpieces. 7 Extra! Extra! Scholars flex their journalism muscles by writing for Steppingstone’s Update, a newsletter shared monthly with Scholars, families, and the community.

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chatting with christopher jimeneZ ’11 A senior at the Roxbury Latin School, Christopher Jimenez ’11 is a Scholar, an athlete, and a leader. When he isn’t busy preparing for college, you can find him building houses with Habitat for Humanity, propelling his wrestling team to victory, and mentoring younger students. We asked Chris to share some insights about his time with Steppingstone and the program’s role in Boston. Here are his thoughts.

how has steppingstone heLped prepare you For coLLege? Steppingstone is always there for me when I need them. Over the past year, I’ve met with Steppingstone’s college advisors and we’ve talked a lot about what I can do to prepare for college and how to make myself a stronger applicant. Our conversations helped me reflect on what I really want in a college.

“steppingstone has helped me grow as a person and develop the skills i need.” - ChristoPher JiMeneZ

any memoraBLe eXampLes? Working as a teaching assistant at Steppingstone helped me grow into the leader I always wanted to be. As a TA, I was frequently asked to step up and do something a bit out of my comfort zone. Although I was sometimes nervous about how things would turn out, I repeatedly took the yellow light risk.* I really grew out of my shell and

by the end of the summer was able to lead the class by myself. I would be a very different person if I hadn’t become a Steppingstone Scholar. why do you think steppingstone is an important program For Boston FamiLies? Everyone in the program has one common goal: college. It doesn’t matter if you go to an exam school, private school, or other public school – Steppingstone supports you the whole way. As a Scholar, I want to give back to Steppingstone because it has given me so many opportunities to show that I can thrive in any type of environment. Steppingstone is a great part of the reason I am who I am, and I was honored to give back to this exceptional community as a teaching assistant. My passion for the Steppingstone community has never been stronger.

* Yellow light risks are opportunities for Scholars to explore things outside of their comfort zone. A crucial part of Steppingstone’s social-emotional curriculum, healthy risk taking encourages Scholars to embrace challenges that can help them develop and grow. sCholar sPotlights | PAgE 7

the stePPingstone foUnDation one aPPleton street Boston, Ma 02116 Return Service Requested

time capsuLe what a find! while digging through steppingstone’s archives, we stumbled upon this message from the Class of 2001. what’s your favorite piece of advice?

COVER: J’Zani Allen hard at work during her summer classes at Steppingstone. IMAGES: Professional photos by Thad Russell and Sam Moody.

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