My name is Elizabeth Saltonstall and I’m running the 2020 Boston Marathon for The Steppingstone Foundation. I’ve always aspired to run the Boston Marathon but to do so on behalf of Steppingstone is an unbelievable honor.
The Steppingstone Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that develops and implements programs to prepare students from historically marginalized communities for college success. Each Steppingstone Scholar commits in 4th or 5th grade to the hard work necessary to earn their college degree. In return, we commit to supporting them every step of the way. More than 85% of Steppingstone Scholars will be the first in their family to graduate from college.
I became involved with Steppingstone through its Board of Young Professionals (BYP), which I joined in the summer of 2019. The BYP is focused on engaging the next group of community leaders with Steppingstone through volunteering, fundraising, and networking opportunities. My involvement with the BYP has granted me the opportunity to interact with past and present Steppingstone Scholars on several occasions and to witness first-hand the program’s positive and significant impact.
This year, I observed the summer program in action at Milton Academy (pictured right). The Scholars were immensely engaged in their studies and activities, collaborating and learning together, inside and outside the classroom. In one classroom, I witnessed a young Scholar thoughtfully present on the challenges of climate change facing developing countries. At the end of our visit, we met with a couple of Scholars and I was touched to hear one of the young Scholars refer to the people at the Steppingstone summer program as her second family, whom she looked forward to seeing each morning.
Steppingstone’s approach works. 90% of Scholars who have completed Steppingstone’s demanding program of academic preparation go on to a competitve middle or high school. 99% go on to graduate high school, and 80% earn a four-year degree within six years.
Steppingstone’s programs are tuition-free for Scholars, so please know that a gift of any size will make a meaningful difference and help more students reach their college goals. It’s an amazing organization that helps scholars to cross the finish line of college graduation!