A (Free) Plan for Your Students this Summer!


A (Free) Plan for Your Students this Summer!

Students Can Subscribe Here to Receive Career Camp News!

Last summer Step Up hosted our inaugural Career Camp. We kicked off the first week with Career Steps - a series of virtual visits to some of your favorite companies to learn about the various roles and work that happens there. Weeks two and three continued for those who applied and were accepted to be matched with a Step Up partner company for a virtual Build Career Skills. These two-week behind-the-scenes job shadowing opportunities offer students an internship-like experience in a short amount of time. Build Career Skills last year was hosted by PepsiCo, Benefit Cosmetics, LinkedIn, Comcast NBCUniversal, and Google.

“The highlight of my experience was talking to mentors and becoming reassured on a future that will involve so many different paths.. It’s very hard to not worry about doing something wrong or messing up in college and/or careers, but talking to these mentors I’ve become comfortable with the idea that our trajectory from one point to another will never be linear, it’ll always be staggered and we need to embrace these changes we didn’t see coming because they can be the thing that leads us to very place we need to be.” -Alicia U., Alliance Leichtman-Levine Environmental Science High School Class of 2023

Watch replays from last year here.

Our free, virtual 3-week camp transports students to companies like PepsiCo, Benefit Cosmetics, LinkedIn, Comcast NBCUniversal, Google, and more. Students can put their summer days to work, helping them jumpstart the career of their dreams! Students can subscribe here to receive more details.

Career Camp 2023

  • Week 1- Explore Pathways: July 10-14
  • Weeks 2+3 – Build Career Skills: July 17-28

Spotlight on Step Up Fellows

Meet the fellows from two more of our Step Up schools.

Name: Jennifer Gonzalez

School: East College Prep, Los Angeles

Role: Humanities Teacher

Years at School: 2

SU: Why do you think Step Up on Campus is a good fit for East College Prep? 

JG: East College Prep is about Positive Multigenerational Change for our students. Step up is a great start for students of the first generation, female-identifying that may feel the pressures from home and society. The girls I serve need a space to grow, learn and develop where there is no judgment with a teacher who understands the importance of female empowerment.

SU: Why did you decide to become a fellow? 

JG: Much of my background is in after-school programming and I worked with marginalized students that needed the added support from a caring, empathetic adult that could relate to their life story. Facilitating a program like Step-up felt familiar and I was confident I would align myself with the Step-up mission.

SU: What do you enjoy most about being a fellow? 

JG: I enjoy most of the conversations I am able to create with my kiddos! I have focused on building rapport with the girls by demonstrating empathy and making genuine/authentic connections. They are full of intelligence and it is important to validate what they have to offer intellectually and culturally. It has been amazing to break the ice with the girls and just as they are learning I am also learning; it's been a sharing experience for us all.

SU: How did you recruit students for the program? 

JG: I asked teachers, staff, and admin to recommend students who they felt would be a fit for Step-up, anyone hungry to grow, learn, and strive for positive multigenerational change. Once they recommended, the student needed to take the initiative and email me with interest, if the email was received, they were allowed to join step-up. The email gave an indicator for agency, accountability, and desire to join Step-up.

SU: What is one highlight from your sessions so far? 

JG: We recently had our session on Mental health and healthy ways in which we could manage stress in our lives. Some of the girls shared the pressure they felt in being a female, first-generation, and how that meant they carried added responsibilities than the average high school student. Many found they were already managing stress and added methods they could practice like coloring, walking, puzzle building, etc. There were others that did not know how to cope with stress and discovered new methods they could use from their peer and some that I suggested. At the end of the session, every single student walked out with three strategies that could help manage stress and are accessible to them at any given moment.

SU: Anything else you want to share with our school partners around the country? 

JG: There is much to be done in our education system however it is up to us as educators or fellow allies to find ways to ensure our students are reaching their full potential. Students and teachers with the right resources can uncap incredible potential. Let’s not give up on our education system and keep fighting for systemic change to make education equitable.

Name: Iliana Alvarez

School: Alliance Bloomfield, Los Angeles

Role: School Counselor

Years at School: 2

SU: Why do you think Step Up on Campus is a good fit for Alliance-Bloomfield?

IA: It comes with no surprise that the transition to in-person learning was very difficult for a lot of our students. These pivotal years in high school to grow their social, personal and academic skills have taken a negative toll. I believe that Step Up is a good fit for Alliance Bloomfield because it focuses on components that will benefit our students. From building to community, to social emotional learning, and career practice our students will be able to apply these skills in high school and beyond.

SU: Why did you decide to become a fellow? 

IA: As a counselor, I have the opportunity to work with students on their academic and college aspirations but I am also a firm believer in the importance of preparing students for their future career goals. I decided to become a fellow because I want to create a space where girls feel valued, heard and represented. I want to contribute to their personal, social, emotional and wellbeing growth. As a fellow, I am able to share my own personal experiences and showcase to them that as Latinx women, we can accomplish our goals and aspirations.

SU: What do you enjoy most about being a fellow? 

IA: I enjoy building connections with my students. I am able to connect with them on a more personal level, sharing my experiences and opening their world to so many more opportunities.

SU: How did you recruit students for the program? 

IA: I collaborated with my colleagues, including a school social worker, school psychologist and Spanish teacher. With their help I was able to recruit students who we believe would benefit from Step Up.

SU: What is one highlight from your sessions so far? 

IA: One highlight from my sessions so far is our discussions. It is amazing to see how much they are able to reflect and hold conversations with each other. They are slowly opening up, and stepping outside of their comfort zone. I am looking forward to seeing their growth in the next couple of weeks.

SU: Anything else you want to share with our school partners around the country? 

IA: As a first time fellow for Step Up, I was definitely nervous. As the weeks goby I am learning not only about my students but about myself as well. It has been such a great experience to connect with them.

Meet Your Step Up Contacts, Hollis and Micky

Hollis Heath supports our schools in New York, Atlanta, and Dallas. Micky Jones supports our schools in Nashville, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Some of the responsibilities Micky and Hollis manage include:

  • cohort trainings + meetings with Fellows
  • acting as a thought-partner + coach to school teams in all programmatic implementation efforts, appropriately reporting issues to Step Up leadership when necessary.
  • supporting with events in-person and virtually

"I resonate so deeply with the work we do at Step Up because mentors have been a tremendous part of my personal and professional development. My mentors are women who have helped me see what was possible for me and helped me pick myself back up when I faced difficulties. I'm excited to be working with Step Up to make these kind of vital mentoring relationships possible for more girls and young adults."- Micky Jones

Hollis Heath (left) with Step Up girls; Mentor Alyssa Rosenheck (center) and Micky Jones (right) at Rosenheck's recent book signing

Tell us more!

Do you have news to share from Step Up on your campus?

Contact Maya at maya@suwn.org.

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