Mission: To help girls living or going to school in underresourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career-focused, and ready to join the next generation of professional women.
About the Organization: Founded in 1998 and based in Los Angeles, Step Up Women's Network believes all girls should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential. To that end, the organization enlists women with a passion for empowering girls and a commitment to mentorship to work with girls and empower them to graduate high school on time.
Current Programs: Step Up's afterschool programs are open to girls between the ages of 13 and 18 enrolled in one of the organization's partner high schools in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York. Through a two-hour session once or twice a week, the organization's interactive curriculum helps girls express themselves openly, demonstrate resilience, acquire time management skills, commit themselves to academic excellence, navigate the college application process, and build strong teamwork and communication skills. The curriculum features different modules tailored to each grade, including career exploration via corporate field trips, group mentoring focused on the college application process, and summer internships. In each of the last five years, at least 98 percent of all Step Up seniors graduated high school and were accepted into college.
Step Up mentors support, inspire, encourage, and provide role models for the teens in group workshops as well as through afterschool programs. The organization also convenes a number of conferences.
Funding: Step Up is funded by memberships, corporations, and foundations.