Laniesha Gray ’00

When asked what accounts for the strong ties people feel toward Steppingstone, Laniesha says, “I think it’s the feeling that once you’re a Scholar, you’re always a Scholar.” This is definitely true for Laniesha, who became a Steppingstone Scholar at the age of ten. After commencing in 2000, she came back as a high-school student to mentor younger Scholars as a teaching assistant. And during college, Laniesha also spent a summer interning at Steppingstone. It was then that she realized she had a knack for teaching and chose education as her future profession.

Of her long history with the organization, Laniesha says, “I teach for Steppingstone because it’s really like coming home. I honestly have never left. I’ve gone on and done other things but I always find a way to weave it into my professional life.”

After college, Laniesha taught 7th and 8th grade English at The Park School in Brookline, and 10th grade humanities at Codman Academy as an Inclusion Associate Teacher. She then became METCO Director in Hingham, where she currently runs a voluntary school integration program for the district. During her summers, and on Saturdays and Wednesday afternoons during the school year, she comes back to teach English at The Steppingstone Academy. “I feel really good about the work I do. And I know Scholars appreciate it, so it really is fulfilling.”

Pointing to herself as an example of how Steppingstone propels students forward, Laniesha says, “I come back so Scholars have a visible reminder of what it looks like when you go through the program. When you commit, this is what it turns into.”