Jeremy Guevara

Jeremy Portrait 3With his open smile, gracious manners, and horn-rimmed black glasses, Jeremy Guevara may not look the part of the Beast, but transforming himself on stage, and in life, has become second nature for this 18-year-old. When he gained admission to Brimmer and May seven years ago, Jeremy never predicted that one day he’d play the lead in Beauty and the Beast. “So many things that I’m interested in now I’d never imagined myself doing,” he says, “and I’ve ended up loving them!” On top of heading school productions, Jeremy plays soccer, performs with his high school chorus, and serves as president of his senior class.

Jeremy credits many of these accomplishments to his teachers at Brimmer and May, who helped him discover his passions and talents. “Brimmer was able to identify and develop Jeremy’s potential not only as a student, but as a leader,” says his mother, Francisca Guevara. But getting into Brimmer in the first place? “That was all because of Steppingstone,” according to Jeremy.

When he looks back at his early years with The Steppingstone Academy, you might think Jeremy would focus on the hours of extra work or long summer days spent in class. But that’s not what Jeremy recalls. Instead, he remembers being surrounded by other motivated students, and returning to school filled with pride about how much he had learned over the summer. “It was the best,” he says. “For a kid that age, to have that feeling is just so important. It can really change things.”

Because Jeremy’s parents emigrated from Central America, they had no experience navigating the American education system. For them, Steppingstone was a crucial source of advice throughout each stage of Jeremy’s academic career. “We always
 felt we were ahead of the game because we were informed, guided, and supported all the way,” says Francisca. And Jeremy agrees. “Having Steppingstone to guide us from when I was in fourth grade was huge for my family. My mom probably learned everything from Steppingstone conferences!”

Now, Jeremy wants to help other kids reach their potential, and he has become a committed mentor to many young Scholars. He constantly gives back to the community, and has worked as a Steppingstone Teaching Assistant for two years in a row. Though his days started at 5 a.m. during the last summer session, the long hours didn’t diminish the joy he got from working with students. “It was just so amazing watching them learn,” he says. Whenever young Scholars were overwhelmed, Jeremy would help them understand how important it was to stick with the program, and what it would mean throughout their middle-school and high-school years. “For each period of my life,” he reflects, “Steppingstone has been there offering something.”

This fall, eight years after joining Steppingstone, Jeremy will move to Worcester and enroll at the College of the Holy Cross. He plans to study marketing as a member of the class of 2017. With college just a few months away, Jeremy says, “I now realize what my time with Steppingstone translated to. It’s meant everything to me, really.”