25 Mentors of the Year + 25 Next Gen Leaders

About The Lists

25 Mentors of the Year

Step Up has announced its first-ever list of 25 Mentors of the Year in honor of the mentorship nonprofit’s 25th anniversary. This new distinction is reserved for those who serve as role models in the community for defining and pursuing dreams of success demonstrated through their impactful work, journey, and character.

25 Next Gen Leaders

Step Up also released a companion list of 25 Next Gen Leaders, a list comprised of young women who participated in Step Up mentorship programs and are now pursuing their unique dreams of success.

Inspiration Awards

The Mentors of the Year and Next Gen Leaders will be acknowledged at Step Up’s upcoming Inspiration Awards, set for October 6 in Los Angeles and November 16 in Chicago.

Read Full Announcement

Featured Mentors of the Year

Full List of 25 Mentors of the Year

Start Exploring

These mentors inspire us to consider new ideas:

Carla Harris - senior advisor, Morgan Stanley

Mindy Kaling – actor, writer, producer

Lisa Ling – journalist

Jodie Turner-Smith – actor, activist + mother

Build Skills

These mentors demonstrate how to grow our abilities:

Angel City Football Club Founders

Mary Dillon – CEO, Foot Locker

Dany Garcia - CEO and chair, The Garcia Companies, including GSTQ

Bianca Gates- CEO and co-founder, Birdies

Suzanne Lerner - co-founder, president and CEO, Michael Stars

Sonia Menon- COO, Neal Gerber Eisenberg

Marissa Solis – SVP global brand and consumer marketing, National Football League

Serena Williams - Olympic tennis player and founder, Serena Ventures

Reese Witherspoon – award-winning actor, entrepreneur, producer, New York Times bestselling author and Step Up investor

Cultivate Community

These mentors help us galvanize our networks:

Julie Bowen - actor, advocate + entrepreneur

Ebonee Davis - model, poet, actor + author

Amanda Gorman – poet

Yvonne Orji – actor + author

Take Action

These mentors show us how to step up:

Halle Bailey – actor + singer

Amal Clooney - barrister and Co-Founder of Clooney Center for Justice

Allyson Felix - Olympic track and field athlete and founder, Saysh

Becky G – artist/singer

Valeisha Butterfield Jones – vice president, partnerships and engagement, Google

Gabrielle Union + Zaya Wade – actor + LGBTQ activists

Beverly Williams – philanthropist and Step Up matriarch

Featured Next Gen Leaders

Full List of 25 Next Gen Leaders

Serena Astudillo - J.D. candidate, CUNY School of Law

Azalea Banegas - influencer marketing coordinator, SKIMS

Ana Benitez - mathematics undergraduate student, Texas Christian University

Briana Carbajal - state legislative manager, WE ACT for Environmental Justice

Isidra “Lulu” Favela – founder, Cabronas 4 the World

Tanzema Fazal - judicial intern, Supreme Court of New York

Rosy A. Garcia - senior marketing operations associate, Care.com

Farhana Ghani - campaign manager, Spotify

Kara Gooch - human performance analyst, Accenture

Ama Gyamerah - program manager, SAG-AFTRA Foundation

English Henderson - conflicts analyst, Jenner & Block

Feli Hernandez - public health and wellness analyst, Seeding Success

Kalen Isreal - sales + marketing coordinator, hospitality

Jasmine Johnson - founder of Joykreyol, LLC

Maggie López – diversity, inclusion and talent management specialist, Sheppard Mullin

Jessica Naves - MBA candidate and consortium fellow, UCLA Anderson School of Management

Katherine Penalo - public health educator, NYC Health + Hospitals Women’s Health

Rocio Ramirez - digital talent manager / diversity equity + inclusion partner lead, Collab

Kenia Rodriguez - social science teacher, Chicago Public Schools

Olivia Saha – federal law enforcement officer

Jennifer Salazar - certified medical assistant, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Vanessa Salomon - credit risk analyst, First Republic Bank

Alexandra Sandoval - senior at Smith College majoring in engineering science and electrical design; engineer intern, Boeing

Astrid Torres - new release content manager, Warner-Elektra-Atlantic

Katherine Trujillo - college advisor and Step Up leader, Alliance Gertz-Ressler High School

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