Steps to Success Inc.

Here For Equity, There For Our Students

Brookline, MA   |  www.stepstosuccessbrookline.org

Mission

At Steps to Success, Inc., we promote equity for students from low-income families in Brookline by expanding their horizons, building upon their skills, and supporting their educational journey in order to maximize their life choices.

Ruling year info

2016

Executive Director

Mr. Juan Cantu

Main address

PO Box 470421

Brookline, MA 02447 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Brookline School-Community Partnership

EIN

47-1641692

NTEE code info

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Research has shown that quality out-of-school programs have a positive impact on the educational and future success of children from low-income families. By providing our children with a fulfilling Out of School Time experience, they are more likely to remain and succeed in school and in their future lives as adults. Steps to Success, Inc.’s role is to focus on closing the “opportunity gap” by providing out-of-school time and enrichment, college and career readiness, and college success services to children from low-income Brookline families.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

STS School Success Program

The School Success Program starts in grade four and continues through high school. The comprehensive program is designed to help students succeed and graduate high school, equipped to persist into and through post-secondary education with: 1) academic support and skill-building opportunities, individual advising and out-of-school time enrichment programs; 2) intensive preparation and support for post-secondary education through college visits, tutoring and mentoring; 3) school-to-career connections through paid summer internships; and, 4) family support. Elementary and middle school students are served in two Extended Learning Programs, After Hours University and Teen Advantage, which provide students in grades 4 to 8 with structured homework time and enriching activities that they would not be able to otherwise afford or have the opportunity to experience. Programs are offered after school, combining innovative learning with fun, mentoring and tutoring, and providing community engagement opportunities. High school students need and benefit from receiving personalized academic support as they focus more intently on college goals. STS facilitates college visits, financial aid supports, and ACT/SAT prep, in addition to running a technology-supported homework support center to keep low-income students on track academically for college.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

College Success Initiative (CSI) was launched in 2009 as a response to the alarming national statistics about college success for low-income students. According to a 2008 report by the Pell Institute, low-income, first-generation college students were nearly four times more likely to leave college after their first year. Within six years of entering college, only 11% earned a degree compared with 55% of their more advantaged peers. CSI goes beyond the initial college admission process to ensure Steps to Success students receive the support they need to earn a degree and pursue successful careers. Today, the CSI team works with 80 Steps to Success college students at institutions all across the country. In addition to career and life-skills programming, the program offers one-on-one personal, academic, and financial advising sessions for all of the students we serve. CSI works with an additional 200 STS high school graduates enrolled in or preparing to matriculate to college or post secondary programs. The College Success Advisors address the key areas necessary for college success individually with each of our CSI students. These include general quality of life issues, balancing employment and school work, adequate financial aid, and academic success. Since the CSI Advisors share an office with STS High School Advisors, they become acquainted with students over the course of their senior year as they are applying to college. The CSI Advisors provide transitional support to freshmen after they have been accepted, helps resolve financial aid issues, assists students to transfer colleges or transition from 2- to 4-year programs, maintains connection with students not in college, and ensures that students in post-secondary programs persist until completion.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Summer Connections: Internship program that provides first time, work experience for 40+ rising 8th and 9th graders in the Steps to Success program. Internship hosts vary throughout Brookline. Students work at their internships during the mornings and attend Summer Connections classes in the afternoons. Class subjects vary (i.e. financial literacy, organization workshops, preparation for high school/college, etc.) Internships allow students to become engaged with their community as well as experience an opportunity that may not have been available to them without the program. Interns not only gain work experience but are also paid a stipend for their work. Work Connections for Youth: Internship program for 45+ Step to Success rising 10th, 11th, 12th graders, and college freshmen that provides students with meaningful job, training, and skill building experiences. Internships for rising 10th and 11th graders are within Brookline non-profit organizations and town sites. Internships for rising 12th graders and college freshmen are throughout the city of Boston. Interns participate in internships as well as workshops and trainings run by Steps to Success.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

One of seven unique and high performing Greater Boston programs worthy of investment 2010

Root Cause

Catalyst for Change 2010

Nellie Mae Foundation

Herb Carlin Community Health Award 2013

Friends of Brookline Public Health

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students enrolled in service-learning courses

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Summer Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

30 Students completed Summer Connections program, a career readiness program including service learning

Number of first-entry undergraduate program students who identify themselves as 'visible minorities'or 'non-white'

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults

Related Program

College Success Initiative

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of students demonstrating responsible behaviors and work habits

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents

Related Program

Summer Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

32 Students enrolled in the Work Connections program, an internship, job readiness, and career readiness program for Steps to Success high school students

Number of scholars who graduate from four year colleges and university within six years

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults

Related Program

College Success Initiative

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of STS college students who are on track to graduate from college in 4-6 years.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of STS students served from 4th grade through college graduation.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Long-term, as a result of participating in STS, graduates from Brookline High School will have a post-secondary plan of their choosing, and enroll in and complete that plan (whether it be college, other post-secondary education or another pathway). In addition, most students will graduate from college within 4-6 years, obtain a full-time job or attend graduate school within 6 months after graduation, and no longer living in public housing 1 year after graduation.

Steps to Success is also a 3-way partnership among the Brookline Housing Authority, the Public Schools of Brookline and Steps to Success Inc., which is driven by a shared vision of Brookline as a community where all students can achieve their educational, economic and life potential into adulthood.

Steps to Success Inc. focuses on closing the opportunity gap for its students by providing the following services:
Enrichment Activities, including after-school programs, outdoor explorations, vacation programs and access to camps for students in grades 4-8.

Career and College Readiness including middle and high school internships, college visits, post-secondary applications & enrollment, mentorship, and professional development.
Post-Secondary and College Persistence (College Success Initiative) including college matriculation, enrollment, and persistence counseling and support, as well as professional development.

The collaborative Steps to Success partnership focused on this target population of children in Brookline is powerful, innovative and potentially a national model. Its key characteristics include a holistic, individualized, comprehensive, creative, and multi-faceted approach to service delivery.

Steps to Success has been in existence since 2001, and is comprised of 6 full-time staff and 4 part-time staff. STS, Inc. is led by its Executive Director, Shoma Haque, who has nearly 20 years of non-profit experience, including 8 years as the COO of BPE (formerly the Boston Plan for Excellence).

STS is governed by a committed 18 member Board of Directors comprised of Brookline residents, parents, alumni, and committees of volunteers who are deeply engaged in supporting the organization and its work.

Finally, the strong partnership between Steps to Success, Inc., the Brookline Housing Authority, and Public Schools of Brookline, enables STS to leverage our combined resources to provide comprehensive, integrated services and supports to achieve educational equity that will empower families and students who are low-income in the Public Schools of Brookline.

As a result of our long-term investment in our students starting in 4th grade, Steps to Success is proud to report that 87% of our College Success students are on track to graduate within 6 years.

The next three years will entail implementing our new strategic plan, which includes continuing to hone and refine our program strategy and impact per the outcomes stated above, increase the sustainability of STS as an organization through board and staff development, fundraising, and capacity-building, and deepening our partnership with the Brookline Housing Authority and Public Schools of Brookline to provide effective wrap-around supports for our students at home, at school, and during out of school time.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve approximately 300 students from low-income families in Brookline, MA.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Based on feedback from our college students, in 2018, Steps to Success started a college mentoring program. Since then, we have expanded this program to include high school juniors and seniors. We match external professionals with a similar degree or background with interested students, and currently have 18 mentoring pairs.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Steps to Success Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Steps to Success Inc.

Board of directors
as of 7/6/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Judy Katz

Community Volunteer

Term: 2015 - 2020

Judy Katz

Consultant

Leslie Reid

Madison Park CDC

Rachel Goodman

Retired, Boston Housing Authority

Bodi Luse

Boston Private Industry Council

Britt Lee

Science Teacher

Candy Altman

Retired, Former Journalist

Jason Harris

Gregory Lombardi Design

Judy Levenson

Attorney

Julie Burkley

Nonprofit Professional

Kathryn Gabriele

Facing History and Ourselves

Kenny Weill

K. Weill Consultant Group, LLC

Kim Sonnabend

Career Coach

Livia Schachter

MA Dept. of Children and Families

Patrick Dober

Brookline Housing Authority

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/06/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/08/2020

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.