May Madness: Many Step Up News & Updates

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Empowering Celebrating and Connecting  Teens: LA+ Chi Conference, Capstone Celebrations and explore pathways  Step Up Teen Girls

Los Angeles and Chicago Career Connections Conferences

On April 20, Step Up executed three fabulous events in Los Angeles! We kicked things off with our Career Connections Conference presented by Stacy's® and the Barbie Dream Gap Project and hosted by our friends at Accenture. More than 80 mentors and teens were present for an incredible day of content that included a personality and skills assessment followed by crafting a personalized elevator pitch. Next, we transitioned to our Step Up Pop Up Shop, where teens and mentors were invited to build their own gift bags in the Step Up office from a fabulous inventory of partner-donated swag. We concluded with a MentorSip for mentors and prospective members and donors hosted in the Step Up office. Thanks to all the team members who worked on these three events both in advance and the day of – it took so many people to make these possible!

Explore Pathways

This spring is bursting with Explore Pathways opportunities, both virtually and in Step Up cities!

In April, we hosted two incredible Explore Pathways sessions with Ulta. Teens from Uplift Luna visited the Ulta Distribution Center, where they opened their minds to new career possibilities, saw the culture of a corporate environment, and engaged in authentic networking with trusted mentors. They were led through an interactive warehouse tour, which deepened their understanding of the product distribution process, and connected with mentors in a fun, laid-back environment. Then, they got to fulfill actual online orders of products by sorting, packing, securing, and sending Ulta Beauty products out for distribution! Ulta also provided the teens with goodie bags and a unique pop-up shop experience where they had the chance to fill a reusable backpack with their choice of items.

In Nashville, 17 girls from Stratford STEM High School attended an Explore Pathways trip to The Home Edit office, where they

Capstone Celebrations

Capstone Celebrations are in full swing! Capstone Celebrations allow teens to connect with mentors over their SUoC semester by sharing highlights from what they gained from the experiences. Capstone Celebrations continue throughout the rest of the month. Attached below is a guide to Capstone Celebration Week at Step Up!


Meet Yvette Torres Student at Alliance Gertz-Ressler High

SU: Why did you decide to join Step Up?

YT: I decided to join Step Up because I wanted to be involved in a community that I felt connected to on a deeper level. Since Step Up is a women-empowerment organization, I wanted to not only show my support for other women but I also wanted to be encouraged by the bright and successful women that were involved with Step Up. Throughout my high school years, I was very inspired by the growing environment that Step Up had created in my school and the great reputation it had in supporting women. I saw second-hand the experiences that were offered to my friend through Step Up and all of the confidence she had gained as a result of this program. I was looking for a community in which I could freely express myself and feel as though I was supported unconditionally, which is exactly what I saw in Step Up. 

SU: Which session of Step Up on Campus was your favorite? Why?

YT: My favorite session of Step Up on Campus was when we were all given “would you rather” questions and we were told to share aloud our choices and why we chose them. This may seem like a silly game but in reality it helped connect the girls on a deeper level. Through this activity I was able to learn a lot more about the girls. Even if I had not had a personal conversation with every girl that had attended Step Up at my school, this activity felt very uniting. The environment while playing this game was very open-minded and welcoming which I thoroughly enjoyed because it made it much easier to open up. Seeing all of the girls’ personalities through this activity made Step Up feel more like a womanhood.

SU:What area do you feel like you have grown the most through your participation in Step Up?

YT: Through Step Up, I have grown my confidence, not only in myself but in my professional path striving to go into the medical field as well. Before Step Up, I was very timid to share my future goals and aspirations. Whenever I was asked about my future plans, I would shy away from saying my actual goals because of the fear of being belittled and being told to choose a different career path because “only men got that far.” I experienced this with everyone I was surrounded by. Even my family would tell me that the career I wanted to go into was too unattainable and that I should make more realistic goals for myself. Not having that much needed support system took a toll on my confidence. However, being a part of Step Up and being able to share with other women my goals alleviated that missing support system I so desperately needed. Hearing from other people that they were excited for my future and having women cheer me on along the journey of figuring out what I wanted to do really restored the confidence I once had in my aspirations for my future as I strive towards becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon. 

SU: How has Step Up impacted you or supported you in your future plans?

YT: The confidence in my path has served me greatly because being a first generation woman going to college in my family meant getting a lot of disapproving looks and comments about my future ambitions. Going to Step Up conferences and connecting with successful women, really gave me a new perspective on the opportunities for my future. As a woman, I felt it crucial to listen to the stories of other women and their career journeys to believe it to be possible for myself. While introducing myself to the women I saw at Step Up events, I was able to receive much advice about the things I am able to do for myself in order to excel professionally as a woman. Especially being a girl who wants to pursue a career in the medical field, a career that is still powered predominantly by men, the reassurance of women really alleviated the concerns I previously had when talking about my goals for the future. I can now confidently say that whenever I speak about my future goals and aspirations, I say it proudly because I know that I will reach all of the goals I set for myself. When I introduce myself I proudly say that I am a girl who is going to be attending her dream college, UCLA, majoring in Molecular and Cell Developmental Biology with a minor in Biomedical Research, with a pre-Med track with the dream of becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon. This confidence has all been in great gratitude towards the amazing Step Up team, and the women that are involved with this fundamental organization for helping young girls such as myself. 

SU: What is your favorite thing about Ms. Trujillo?

YT: The real question should be what is not my favorite thing about Ms. Trujillo, because the list of her great qualities that I admire runs far too long. To state some highlights of her character and keep the list short, it would be her resilience, passion, communication, and devotion. Ms. Trujillo’s resilience truly doesn't go unnoticed, and it’s something truly admirable about her. She works with all grade levels when putting together Step Up meetings which can be a hassle on top of her being a college counselor/advisor. This work may seem like a lot of work from which any other person would give in and do everything with minimal effort. However, Ms. Trujillo shows great passion for her students’ future goals and aspirations, not only in my experience but in what I have noticed from other girls as well. It is evidently noticeable that Ms. Trujillo has such a great passion for guiding and empowering young girls. Aside from being an educative figure, she finds ways to personally connect with her students to make them feel more welcome and heard. She has a bright character that makes it easy for people to approach her. From my personal experience, I can vouch that Ms. Trujillo will do anything to help her students because when I really needed some guidance or when I was not having a good day she made sure to check in with me and talk to me about my issues. Her unwavering devotion to being a shoulder to rest on for her students has impacted her students more than I think even she notices. I have had the ultimate privilege of forming a beautiful relationship with Ms. Trujillo, from which I know that Ms. Trujillo does her job of not only inspiring young girls’ minds in Step Up but her senior students in general from the bottom of her heart. This is what makes her such a role model for myself and for many others.


See what's happening for our Mentors And Step Ups Young Adults

MentorSip

At MentorSip in Chicago and Los Angeles, mentors came together for an evening of connection and collaboration focused on mentoring. Attendees explored their unique skills as mentors and networked while learning about more opportunities to engage with Step Up.


If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a mentor, please fill out our mentor application form and pass it along to those who might be interested in this rewarding opportunity.


Chart Your Own Path Today Join us for adult mentorship and networking at Power talks

Our Power Talks sessions in Dallas and Los Angeles catapulted Step Up young adults’ confidence to the next step! These interactive, confidence-boosting workshops hosted by Step Up Women’s Network in partnership with Kérastase offered young adults the chance to set goals aligned with their ideal lifestyle and make action plans to reach them.

Want to get involved with Step Up young adults? Mentor with us at an upcoming Power Talks session or join us in our Digital Community!

Save The Date For an Evening of Inspiration
We are exited to Announcing Inspiration Awards. Save the date for Step Up’s biggest event of the year – Inspiration Awards! Join us on Friday, September 20, in Los Angeles and on Wednesday, November 13, in Chicago to celebrate the women and girls who inspire us to define and pursue our dreams of success.

Stay tuned for exciting updates on honorees, special guests, partners, and tickets. We can’t wait to welcome you back to our Inspiration Awards!

Learn more here: https://www.suwn.org/inspiration-awards

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