Help Teens Escape Poverty & Become Professionals

by Step It Up, Inc.

Step It Up Inc. is currently in a period of transition and closing this project for the time being.

At this time the organization is has scaled back in order to look forward and become a more effective model. At this time this project will not be accepting donations. We will let you know when we are back up and running. We thank everyone for the past support and hope that we are able to garner the same support in the future. 

Our goal is to have a functional program model up and running by January 2014. At that time we hope to be back on GlobalGiving.

 Thank you for your understanding and patience.

For the past ten years Step It Up, Inc. has worked to enrich the lives of youth in the Portland Metro area. It started with a vision and a passion to make a difference and fill a need missing for youth in our community. Former Executive Director and founder Linda McNeill responded to the need to prepare youth for the workforce and provide them internship opportunities and worked tirelessly to fulfill these needs. In large part the efforts of Linda and Step It Up were a great success as the lives of numerous youth have been touched and transformed.

Students searching for support in their desire to do more with their lives than they thought possible came to Step It Up and got assistance to  help them get jobs and enroll in college. We have seen first in their family high school graduates, first in their family college attendees, and new dreams and passions arise in the students we have worked with. A current student stated recently that “for the first time I am thinking about life after high school” – her first step to success. The outcomes of our youth are impressive:

  •    100% graduate high school
  •     100% attend college
  •     35% are hired by their internship site

The needs of our youth have not changed much over the last ten years; students still do not receive all the training and encouragement they need from our schools or even at home. We can’t expect them to either. Students need to find encouragement from a diverse variety of sources; sources as diverse and unique as they are themselves. It has always been SIU’s desire to match this need.

This is why it is with great sadness that we must announce the closure of Step It Up, Inc. For a variety of reasons, funding being the most predominant, we are not able to continue with our mission. While it is the end of the road for SIU it is just the beginning for those whose lives have been touched by the generous work of our staff and volunteers. As we close this door we are confident that many doors will open for all of you.

Thank you for playing such a significant part of our journey. Without your generous support, Step It Up could not have made the positive impact in the lives of our youth for which we are proud.

SIU’s Board of Directors
Dean Fortin
Carol Tatch
Marilyn Crilley
Justin Dernison

Thank You From Our Teens!
Thank You From Our Teens!

With the start of our after school program this month, we are again gearing up to help teens succeed. Raven, a new teen this year, had this to say about the opportunity:

“Thank you so much for giving me this opportunity by accepting me into the program. All that I hear about it from friends in it say that it is absolutely great and I'm really excited to be a part of it all. I sincerely hope that I will be able to achieve all that Step It Up has to offer. Again, I thank you so much for giving me the chance to join.”

Youth will begin working on workplace skills, exploration, and hands on experiences as they learn their talents, gain confidence, and work to achieve their goals. And our youth succeed: 100% graduate high school, 100% attend college, and 35% are hired by their internship site!

You have provided this opportunity for Raven and you can help provide opportunities for more youth by partnering with Step It Up for Global Giving's Bonus Day! On October 17th, Global Giving is hosting the last Bonus Day of the year, where your donations are matched 30% to "help teens escape poverty and become professionals" in 2012. With your matched donation, you are helping teens like Raven gain access to the resources and support they need to transform their futures!

Global Giving's Bonus Day begins at 12:01 a.m. EST on Wednesday, October 17, 2012 (9:01 p.m. PST on Tuesday, October 16, 2012) with donations receiving a 30% match. Matching funds go quickly though, so be sure to give early to help support teens like Raven achieve their goals!

Simply click on the link below to go to SIU's "Help Teens Escape Poverty and Become Professionals" project page on Global Giving and choose your donation amount:

Our teens thank you for joining in this special fundraising day for SIU programs and thank you for your support!

Health Career Team at National Night Out
Health Career Team at National Night Out

Career Club hosted the first Health Career Team for 2012 internships this summer with great success. Five out of six original team members successfully completed 75-135 hours of internship hours through informational interviews, career development workshops and the development of a “Keeping Children Safe at Home” online project.

This project was developed from Legacy Hospital’s “Keeping Children Safe” guidelines posted on their website. The Health Career Team expanded on this list of guidelines to create a Prezi Presentation complete with pictures and their own added recommendations from detailed research on the project. Interested in health careers and working with children, this project provided a perfect opportunity for the teens to explore and combine their interests.

SIU can host internships for determined teens who want to succeed in life. Our Health Career Team members are all preparing college and scholarship applications as their next step for success thanks to your investment in them and their futures!


Thea's Internship in 2009

Thank you to all the supporters of SIU's Career Club over the past year!

Your generous contributions are empowering teens and young adults to connect with the people and resources they need to succeed in school, at work and in life. Step It Up, Inc. now works with over 100 teens and young adults, between the ages of 13 and 24, to provide the individualized support services they need to achieve their long-term career and college goals.They are achieving amazing things after an internship through Career Club thanks to your investment in them.

Thea, one of our 2009 interns, did her internship in urban planning and here is what she recently wrote to SIU:

Hello Linda & SIU Staff!

I've been meaning to send you an update of what I've been up to for probably three years now, so I'll go ahead and give you a quick run-down while I have a minute.

Through SIU I had a fantastic internship with PSU's School of Urban and Public Affairs, and helped start up a sustainability camp for youth. Now known as Youth Leaders for Sustainability, the camp is still up and running three years later. The internship helped me realize my interest in urban sustainability in particular, and I am now finishing up me 2nd year at Seattle University earning an Environmental Studies BA with a focus in Urban Sustainability. I am also working part time as a Document Clerk at a law firm in Seattle.

This summer I will be taking a class in Environmental Policy from a member of the European parliament, while working at the law firm as well as with the Seattle University Sustainable Urban Agriculture Project. In the fall I will be leaving Seattle for Uppsala, Sweden, where I will be studying urban sustainability and policy abroad for a semester.

Upon returning I will complete my major, and am hoping to add a minor in Conservation Biology as well. After graduation, I get to choose whether I want to go the wildlife biology route and study plants and animals in the field, stay with agriculture and study the in Central America, or continue on the law and policy route in Portland perhaps working with Schwabe, Williamson and Wyatt - a law firm that works in environmental law that I met through the PSU internship.

It seems everything has come full circle, and I really can't thank you enough for helping me find that internship in the first place. Feel free to ask any questions and share my story with SIU. I hope all is very well.
Thank you again, Thea



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Organization Information

Step It Up, Inc.

Location: Portland, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Step It Up, Inc.
Project Leader:
Cheryl McLeod
Operations Manager
Portland, Oregon United States

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