Mary Medrano ’11

Mary at the celebration for Scholars who completed the summer program

A Love of Learning

After her parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic, Mary, her mom, and her sister moved in with her grandmother and aunts. The whole family helped to encourage Mary’s love of learning. When Mary’s family learned about Steppingstone, her older sister, Juliari, and cousin, Archi, applied for the program and were admitted. Around the same time, Mary experienced bullying because she loved school, making her feel isolated socially. Her mom grew concerned and wanted a more supportive environment for her daughter.

Nurturing Her Love

Mary soon followed in her sister’s footsteps and earned a spot as a Scholar. She began Steppingstone’s rigorous academic preparation component and met her Steppingstone Advisor. While attending classes in the summer, after school, and on Saturdays, Mary’s enthusiasm for learning was nurtured. Her hard work, coupled with ongoing support from her family and her Advisor, paid off, and she was admitted to Boston Latin Academy (BLA) for seventh grade. She also became a Steppingstone Admissions Ambassador, promoting the program to other students and helping them to apply.

Rising Above

When Mary struggled at BLA, her Advisor stepped in to make sure she was getting the extra help she needed. Mary attended Steppingstone’s Saturday Mentoring and Study Hall (SMASH) for tutoring that her family wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. Thanks to the extra support and hard work, Mary earned acceptance to her dream school, Lesley University. But her family struggled to find a way to afford the tuition. Always one step ahead, her Steppingstone Advisor nominated Mary for a substantial scholarship—which she won. Off to Lesley!

Mary and cousin Archi having fun on a break at work at the Steppingstone office

Coming Home

While pursuing her psychology degree at Lesley, a Steppingstone Advisor suggested that Mary apply for a summer internship. Mary jumped at the chance to work directly with Scholars and joins her cousin, Archi, who recently became an Advisor. She continues her work with Steppingstone in 2020 as the community coordinator, overseeing programming like SMASH that Mary knows the benefits of first-hand. She says, “Steppingstone is a home where I have people to look out for me.”