The Steps to Success program was launched in 2015 to provide additional support in helping parents build employment skills, access job opportunities, and pursue professional training. In its early years, Steps to Success focused on building an employer network and getting families placed in professions with a steady income and room for growth. In recent years, however, the program has adapted to focus more on education—on building skills that will travel with our families and improve their job prospects wherever they go after graduating from our programs.
Steps to Success now offers subsidies and one-on-one support to promote educational pursuits for our parents, subsidies to lower barriers to educational access (such as childcare and transportation expenses), a scholarship program for adults and teens pursuing advanced education, a tutoring program for learners of all ages, and partnerships with other organizations that offer educational support as a means to break the cycle of poverty. It also provides classes in financial literacy and tenancy education to build up the foundational skills that increase long-term stability.
In addition, two other newer programs have fallen under Steps to Success’ umbrella over the last year: a Parent Empowerment group, which we are offering in partnership with SPARK Kindness, and the I Am King program for middle school boys, a collaboration with the He Is Me Institute. The inclusion of these programs in our Steps to Success offerings underlines the undeniable connection between building confidence and empowerment, and having successful long-term education and employment outcomes.
While of course the ultimate aim of the Steps to Success program is stable employment with a sustainable income, these offerings are critical steps to help our families achieve this goal. We know that by supporting parents and children in building their skills and confidence, we can help them reach beyond poverty and create independent and happy futures.
The Steps to Success program is available to families in our Shelter, SAIL program, or LIFE programs.