(Reprinted with permission from the Division of Innovation and Applied Research blog)
There’s a gem hiding in the Enrollment Services building on TU’s campus – Building STEPS. Building STEPS, headquartered here on campus, is a non-profit that provides Baltimore City public high school students interested in science and technology with the exposure, support, and safety net to help them get into and graduate from college. Almost all Building STEPS students are low-income and will be the first in their family to earn a college degree. The program provides professional seminars, summer internships, college workshops, and alumni support to its students.
Building STEPS has been a partner of TU since 2006 and the university is always looking for ways to get more involved with the program. Exciting changes have been happening at Building STEPS and with the partnership that should help further the mission of the non-profit and provide more opportunities for collaboration.
Changes at Building STEPS
First, Paige Lawal has joined the Building STEPS team as the associate program director. In this role, she will be involved in all aspects of student programming from planning to implementation. Lawal will be instrumental in maintaining the partnership between TU and Building STEPS because she’s a Tiger herself! She graduated from Towson in 2012 with a B.S. in communication studies. If you see her around campus, be sure to say “Hi!”
Another exciting development is that the TU-Building STEPS partnership was recently awarded a Pepsi grant for the college access workshops that Building STEPS provides every year. These workshops help students create a list of schools to apply to, prepare their applications, and analyze their acceptance offers to make the best decision for their college education. This grant will help offset some of the costs associate with the workshops and help Building STEPS provide even more quality programming to its students.
Debra Hettleman, executive director of Building STEPS, had this to say about the partnership, “Building STEPS is thankful for our partnership and many connections with Towson. They have supported our students and our organization, ensuring even more Baltimore City high school students earn a college degree.”
The Division of Innovation and Applied Research, and TU in general, are so lucky to have partnerships like the one with Building STEPS. This partnership represents what it means to collaborate with a community organization to tackle big issues. Here’s looking forward to another decade of partnership!