MENTORS WILL BE ACKNOWLEDGED AT STEP UP’S INSPIRATION AWARDS IN LOSANGELES AND CHICAGO.
LOS ANGELES (September 28, 2023) – Step Up, the mentorship nonprofit that guides girls (and those who identify with girlhood) to their success, today 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.
Step Up, which provides free mentorship programs to teen girls and young women ages 14-29, 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.
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.
Step Up’s mentorship programs offer girls and young the women opportunities to start exploring, build skills, cultivate community and take action en route to becoming confident, connected and career-focused. The nonprofit offers virtual and on-demand mentorship, in addition to in-person programs in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and Nashville.
“At every stage, a mentor is someone we look to as an experienced and trusted advisor,” Step Up CEO Delores Druilhet Morton said. “Whether we’re connected with our mentor or we learn important lessons from them from afar, a mentor is a source of inspiration. These women and Step Up alumnae are our mentors. We acknowledge their unique journeys and celebrate the myriad of ways they guide us to pursue our own dreams of success.”
Please find the full list of 25 Mentors of The Year list below.
Start Exploring: these mentors inspire us to consider new ideas.
Carla Harris - senior advisor, Morgan Stanley
Mellody Hobson – president and co-CEO, Ariel Investments
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
Please find the full list of 25 Next Gen Leaders below:
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
TanzemaFazal - 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
AmaGyamerah - 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
ABOUT STEP UP
Through structured mentorship programs, focused support, and inspiring connections, Step Up helps girls, and those who identify with girlhood, define and achieve their unique visions of success. For more, connect at suwn.org.
Asenath Nakayama Do