Affiliates How it Works


Through partnerships with local non-profit organizations, schools, and entrepreneurial individuals, Steppingstone seeks to support communities dedicated to expanding college access locally.

Why Steppingstone?
The Steppingstone Foundation has worked to codify a proven program model in a way that allows others to leverage our experience and impact. Specifically, The Steppingstone Foundation has developed a host of tools, resources, and training modules to offer communities the necessary support to launch a local Steppingstone program.

Benefits to membership in the Steppingstone Network include:

Established Program and Operating Model
• Transferable program model with a history of success
• Comprehensive program resources and start-up materials to ensure a successful launch
• Training opportunities for staff
• Ongoing curriculum development and evaluation support, including performance standards unique to the Steppingstone model


• Seed and challenge grant funding opportunities for qualifying communities

Enhanced School/Community Connections
• Proven ability to identify, prepare, and support underserved urban students for opportunities at partner college preparatory schools

The Steppingstone Foundation looks for evidence of each of the following criteria in determining program expansion and new community partnerships:

1. Community Need: Low percentage of matriculation to competitive four year colleges and universities by students in public school system (and/or schools within a targeted area/neighborhood)

2. College Preparatory Schools: Density of college preparatory schools (with selective admission) interested and able to admit and graduate traditionally underrepresented students by providing financial aid and a supportive environment to qualifying students and families.

3. Leadership: Board representation and commitment from civic, business, and education leaders in order to organize community-wide support for a Steppingstone program and participating students and families.

4. Community Support: Local support for a Steppingstone program from the public school system, potential partner college preparatory schools (see above), and the funding community (corporations, foundations, and individuals).

5. Complementary Philosophy of Partnership: Active and ongoing positive participation in The Steppingstone Network

Some of our brightest and most engaging students found Beaver Country Day School through Steppingstone. Beaver has enrolled and graduated many Steppingstone Scholars, among them school leaders, artists, actors, athletes, and intellectuals. Beaver is clearly a better place because of our relationship with Steppingstone.”
-Aline Gery, Director of Admission & Financial Aid, Beaver Country Day School