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Step Up Program Boasts 25 Percent Graduation Increase

Each day, about 7,000 teenagers decide to drop out of high school, making for about 1.2 million teen dropouts each year, according to Step Up, an organization that aims to encourage young girls to finish their education.

Surprisingly, grades are not the largest factor in the decision of these students to drop out. Many of these students quit high school because they do not see their potential. That is where Step Up comes in.  

main goal is to propel “girls living in or going to school in under-resourced communities to fulfill their potential by empowering them to become confident, college-bound, career-focused, and ready to join the ext generation of professional women.”

Despite going to schools in communities that may not provide many opportunities for these teenage girls, Step Up believes that they still have the potential to make something great out of their lives through education.

Primarily, Step Up encourages the girls involved in the organization to reach their full potential through mentorship. “Step Up inspires professional women to inspire teen girls through after-school and mentorship programs. We introduce our girls to many women in various industries who’ve made different choices.”

Those interested can become members of Step Up to help inspire young women for the small fee of $75 in exchange for the priceless impact they can have on future generations. The organization provides programs and sessions aimed to boost the confidence of the young women in after-school programs. “Step Up members are invited into the classroom to serve as mentors for the sessions, bringing real-world experiences into the classroom to share with the girls.”

When people decide to become mentors, they can dedicate any amount of time to the organization by “attending a one-day drop-in mentoring session” or even through a weekly or monthly commitment of mentoring sessions. Mentors can help encourage the young women to continue on with their education and realize their potential of working in interesting and fulfilling jobs.  

Beyond the classroom, mentors bring the young women on field trips to their workplaces to expose them to new career options. In addition, “Step Up members assist with monthly Saturday career-readiness workshops that help prepare Step Up seniors for paid summer internships before they head off to their first semester of college.”

People can also contribute to this organization by becoming volunteers. “Example volunteer roles include assisting with check-in and welcoming guests, serving as a Step Up ambassador at an information table, serving on the event planning committee and more.” According to Step Up, volunteers keep the organization and its events running smoothly.

So far, Step Up has made a major impact on many young women. Of all the seniors enrolled in Step Up, 98 percent of them end up graduating high school. Alternatively, the US national average ofgraduating high school seniors is only 3 percent. Step Up truly inspires that extra 25 percent of students to continue their education by providing them with wonderful opportunities and allowing them to interact and work with others to realize their incredible potential.

“After just one year of Step Up after-school programs, teens are more confident and place a higher value on getting a college degree.” Step Up not only provides young women with opportunities to better themselves, but it also allows them to realize that they are deserving of an education, just the same as anyone else.

Featured Image by Don LaVange on Flickr

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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