“I not only became more confident, I became comfortable with myself and putting myself out there.”
“STEP taught me to have faith in myself when all the odds are against you.”
“Before joining STEP, I had no idea liberal arts colleges existed.”
“STEP, in a very short period of time, has created a great reputation for their program with a lot of credibility.”
“STEP made college a reality for my daughter. I always encouraged her to work hard in school, but past that I had no idea. Ashley became much more independent after the STEP workshops because she had all the information. They really really break it down. She was empowered to take the steps she needed to get in to college.”
“STEP did a really really good job of pairing my daughter, Corina, with a college. If it wasn’t for STEP, Corina wouldn’t be at Pomona today.”
“The fact that STEP encouraged us to do fly-ins and college visits definitely helped the transition. I would have been so lost if I hadn’t done that.”
“I definitely would not be at Wellesley without STEP. It created this foundation that I could grow from. I was ready to plant my dream and STEP helped it grow.”
“STEP made me realize that I deserve to be here.”
“The STEP organization is truly one of my favorite organizations in the country. I hope to continue the relationship for many many years to come.”
“My daughter went from not being sure, being afraid, and not wanting to be far from her mom to saying ‘I want to do it, I can do it.’”
“I think a lot about the statistics. Most people in my program are male and white, which is very different from being a minority female. I keep thinking, ‘I’m that 1%’.”
Though NOLS and STEP have different mission statements, there’s a lot of overlap. Reflecting on his conversations with NOLS graduates over the years, John says, “What stands out are the lessons in leadership and expedition behavior."
Participating in so many focused workshops makes STEP students unique. “The piece that has been interesting,” says Claudia, “is that STEP students really know how to advocate for themselves."