Jefferson Veillard

Jefferson Veillard has big dreams—and a big support system to rely on—as he turns his dreams into a reality. Hoping to one day become a biomedical engineer, Jefferson wants to use that position to help others “the same way that Steppingstone does for Boston kids.”

Reflecting on his own journey so far, he credits Steppingstone with supporting him as he developed self-confidence and grew to believe in himself as a student. “At Steppingstone, I had a cohort of people dedicated to investing their time, knowledge, and enthusiasm in my development.”

With the support of both Steppingstone and his family, Jefferson gained admission to The Fenn School and then the John D. O’Bryant School. He soon began looking for opportunities outside of the classroom. “Steppingstone was again there to offer me an experience to grow—but this time as a leader.”

As a freshman, Jefferson volunteered as a tutor, helping younger Scholars with their homework. “That feeling of purpose was something I wanted more of,” he recalls, leading him to apply to be a peer leader at Steppingstone that same year.

After earning a position as a peer leader, Jefferson was able to connect with Scholars on an even deeper level, beyond just academics, during the school year.

“Working at Steppingstone during the academic year was a turning point for me because I grew to value engaging in communities and uplifting them.” Jefferson enjoyed the experience so much, he jumped at his next opportunity to work with Steppingstone while continuing to be a mentor for younger Scholars.

Jefferson meets with his Steppingstone Advisor, Thai Luong

As a teaching assistant at the Berylson Family Academy, Steppingstone’s six-week summer program, he continued to develop his confidence and leadership skills. He also found fulfillment in helping to bolster the next generation of Scholars.

Now a high school senior, Jefferson has his sights set on being the first in his family to not only go to college, but to graduate from a top school. With his SATs completed and college applications submitted, he’s certainly on track to achieving every dream and goal he’s set for himself.

Jefferson hopes to couple his passion for STEM as a biomedical engineering major with his drive to help others by participating in programs like Engineers Without Borders. And as for those big dreams he has? “I want to combine the community fostering tools I have attained from Steppingstone with my skills in STEM to really make a difference in the world.”