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.

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 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 two academic years and three summers. In 7th and 8th grade, Scholars work with their Advisors and attend regular workshops and enrichment activities to ensure they stay on course for college. They also receive guidance in selecting the Boston public high schools that are right for them. Once in high school, Scholars receive comprehensive support services, including academic mentoring, social/emotional counseling, and college guidance.

The National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA) is a membership organization that connects the people, practices, and innovations essential for eliminating barriers to educational access and college and career success for underserved students. NPEA has more than 325 members in 35 states. NPEA organizational members collectively serve more than 500,000 students nationwide.