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About Us

Founded in 1990, The Steppingstone Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that develops and implements programs that prepare underserved students for educational opportunities that lead to college success. Based on the premise that, regardless of circumstance, children can achieve at high levels with effective preparation and support, Steppingstone programs emphasize rigorous standards and achieve meaningful results.

To date, more than 1,800 students have been served by our programs. Nearly all of them have completed high school and gone on to earn college degrees.

The Steppingstone Foundation runs three programs in Boston:

The Steppingstone Academy
The College Success Academy
The National Partnership for Educational Access

The Steppingstone Academy prepares underserved middle-grade students for admission to, and success at, top independent, Catholic, and public exam schools through 14 months of rigorous academic preparation. After enrolling at their new schools, Scholars receive comprehensive support services to ensure they thrive, graduate from high school, and complete degrees at four-year colleges. Each year, The Steppingstone Academy serves nearly 1,000 Scholars in grades 5 through 12, as well as hundreds of Scholars in college.

The College Success Academy, which welcomed its pilot class of 46 Scholars in July 2011, provides after-school and summer academic programming to students attending four Boston public K-8 schools: the Donald McKay, the Jackson/Mann, the Edison, and the Gardner Pilot Academy. Scholars participate in a program of academic preparation, modeled after The Steppingstone Academy, which spans four academic years and five summers. Scholars attend their first six-week summer session before fifth grade, and attend after-school classes three times a week during the school year. In high school, Scholars will receive comprehensive support services, including academic mentoring, social/emotional counseling, and college guidance.

The National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA) is a membership association for organizations, programs, and institutions that are committed to educational access for underrepresented students. NPEA has more than 300 members in 34 states, and member organizations collectively serve more than 200,000 students nationwide. Through an annual conference, regional meetings, and professional development opportunities, NPEA strengthens the field of college access by disseminating best practices and key findings to programs across the country.