Meet Ty

Meet Ty.


Ty “didn’t have the greatest childhood” and found herself moving from home to home, in and out of foster care.  She described herself as rebellious in her teenage years, as she often got into trouble.

Young, alone, without means of transportation, desperate for a change, she moved to Raleigh.

Ty heard about StepUp from her mother and decided to give it a shot.

Ty completed StepUp’s Employment Week and StepUp helped her find employment. She started working at a local grocery store within walking distance of her apartment. 

Ambitious and wanting to learn, Ty asked her grocery store manager to cross-train her so she could be competitive for a management position.

Ty joined StepUp’s year-long Life Skills Program. She bonded with her mentors as they helped her make a plan to achieve her personal, professional, and financial goals.

Ty Alumni.jpg

Ty said, “Everything that I learned through StepUp on how to approach different jobs, step outside my comfort zone, to stop living in fear, I took heed of that. And then I just went to get something better for myself.”

Today, Ty is in a management position at a local retailer, with plans to be on the executive team. She shared with us that she regularly uses the skills taught at StepUp to empower and train her team.

In her free time she enjoys exercising, fashion, and blogging. She attends the StepUp Alumni Program twice a month and participates in Toastmasters.

Ty left StepUp feeling confident and determined. YOU can help someone else do the same. 

StepUp Ministry
Tuesday Night Talent

On Tuesday night in the children’s program we spend a portion of the night doing homework or something academic. This generally looks like kids sitting around the tables with the help of our wonderful volunteers working hard on homework, reading books, or challenging themselves with flash cards or trivia.

One of our phase one participants challenged the norm this week by letting us know that the only homework he had for the night was to practice his clarinet. Shawn is new to StepUp and had already started to make a good impression with our staff and volunteers. He is a 6th grader who has a love for music as well as talent. One of our volunteers went and sat outside in the Courtyard so that Shawn had the opportunity to work on his homework during this time as well.

Welcome to the team!

Meet Katie Simpson, Intake Coordinator.

Katie Simpson

Where are you from originally?

Fort Collins, CO

What do you love about your job?

I love seeing the heart behind StepUp and the week being done here to seek the welfare of the city.

What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

Going hiking or walking outside or throwing a football or frisbee around

Fun Fact about yourself:

I’m known for making really great snickerdoodles


Meet Toneisha Williams, Life Skills Case Manager.

Toneisha Williams

Where are you from originally?

Eastern North Carolina

What do you love about your job?

I love that everyone shares the same vision and is dedicated to the mission of StepUp Ministry and that the work that we do makes a difference in the lives of the people of our community.

What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

Scrapbooking and playing with Cooper (my 4 month old puppy)

Fun Fact about yourself:

I enjoy taking cruises and parasailing

Share the Pie Kickoff Party - You're Invited!

Please join us as we celebrate the beginning of a new year of Share the Pie! The party will be at St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar on Wednesday, October 18 at 6:00 p.m. There will be a pie tasting from Raleigh’s most generous bakers, beats by 12-year old phenom DJ Colin Bunn, and bites from Chef Sunny Gerhart of St. Roch’s. If you are a pie seller, please arrive at 5:30 for training.

StepUp Ministry
A New Generation of StepUp Support

Last Wednesday, StepUp’s new Young Professionals Committee hosted their first event! The event was a huge success, bringing longtime volunteers and friends of StepUp together with new, fresh faces who are interested in what we do.


The YoPro Committee was formed to encourage a new generation of volunteerism through creative program development and initiatives to support StepUp Ministry’s fundraising efforts. 


The YoPro Committee is made up of four sub-committees: events, programs, marketing, and membership, each serving StepUp Ministry in different ways. If you are a young professional, and one of those areas interests you, contact Carryl Tinsley, to find out how you can get involved!

StepUp Spotlight: Nikolas Wright


In 2007, Nikolas Wright and a friend both applied for employment with several employers, simultaneously. His friend, subsequently, got hired, relatively quickly.  However, Nikolas, who had been seeking stable employment for an extended number of years, did not have the same results. After self-evaluation, Nikolas noted that the one difference between himself and his friend was the friend had completed a weeklong Employment Workshop at StepUp Ministry.

He made the decision to enroll himself, and, after completion, Nikolas revisited one of those employers he’d applied to previously and secured employment.  Nikolas is now a certified HVAC Installer with Newcomb & Company where he has worked for the last 10 years! He recently reflected that, “…the skills I obtained and the things I learned made a difference. That one week class changed the rest of my life.”

When individuals step IN, WE Step UP!!

When Old Becomes New

Sometimes, rekindling an old relationship can be a step forward. We anticipate this rekindling to be productive.  Dennis A. Jarmon was with us for two and a half years as one of the Life Skills Case Managers before he accepted a position with another organization in October, last year.  Eight months later, he returned to StepUp in the role of Employment Team Lead.  He believes that he has a lot to offer due to his background in employment (including Staffing, Management, and Job Development) over the years.  We are just as excited as he is about his return and anticipate many good things to happen with his addition to the Employment team!

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StepUp Ministry
Kids In Business


This month Step Up Children have been learning about financial literacy. We have been working on how to save, earn and spend money. Sometimes parents can have a difficult time with trying to save money or use it for the things that they really need because our children do not understand the importance of saving and spending money. Here at Step Up we try to make the children’s program fun, but still making sure that each child will benefit from what ever the lesson is for the night. One of the favorite activities during this lesson was creating a business. If we want to spend money then we have to find ways to earn money! 

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StepUp Spotlight: Carlton Clanton


Carlton Clanton is a native of Wake Forest NC. When he came to StepUp he was seeking for an opportunity to improve his life by making necessary changes. Carlton began his journey with StepUp on March 29, 2017, where he came through as a by-passer in the Life Skills program. 

He provides transportation to and from Wake Forest to Life Skills for participants that are also in the program. He is faithful in whatever he is involved in.

He is currently employed at Covenant Trucking Company in Youngsville NC where he has been employed for 15 years. His leadership qualities extend to his job, where he is called to manage the team in various projects.

We would like to take this opportunity to salute him for being a great example of dedication and commitment.

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Bake Pie. Sell Pie. Help a Neighbor.

Share the Pie is building stable families through access to employment and healthcare. We are back this year, and we need people to bake and sell pie.

Would you like to get involved in this mission? It's simple.

To be a pie seller, you will simply need to pre-sell 20 pies to your friends, coworkers, etc. You will be eligible for incentives along the way, and most of all, you will be joining in our mission of creating stable families this Thanksgiving.

To be a pie baker, you will simply need to do what you already love to do—bake chocolate, pecan, or pumpkin pies, and package them in boxes we provide. We will come pick them up from you and deliver them to our pie pick-up locations.

Please visit to learn more or to sign up!

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32 Jobs Placed This Month


In August, our employment team worked to place 32 people in jobs, which exceeds their goal for the month. We think that is something worth celebrating. 32 jobs may sound simple, may seem like a drop in the ocean, but at StepUp, we know it is more than a job. We know that means 32 more people who will not wonder how they will feed their family. That is 32 people who will no longer feel the degrading, fearful answer of “no.” That is 32 people who will begin to work towards stability. And that is worth celebrating.


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StepUp Ministry
Love pie? Sell pie and help a neighbor.

Share the Pie, a joint fundraiser with Alliance Medical Ministry, aims to create stable families through access to employment and healthcare. We are back this year, and we need people to sell pie. 

Would you like to get involved in this mission? It's simple. We will just ask you to sell 20 pies to your friends, coworkers, etc. You will be eligible for incentives along the way, and most of all, you will be joining in our mission of creating stable families this Thanksgiving.

Please contact Lydia Pickard ( or 919-781-0156 ext. 122) if you are interested!


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Salvation Army Hosts StepUp

In its beginning stages, StepUp Ministry worked to assist homeless individuals in obtaining housing. Eventually, the organization grew to include an employment program and life skills training. This was done to give a safe space for people to change more than just a difficult situation, they could change their entire life.


Community means different things to different people. But the underlying message is working together with the common goal of everyone growing, rising and thriving together. The Jobs Team at StepUp Ministry has been fortunate in partnering with different agencies in the community to provide job training to the unemployed residents of Wake County.


The Salvation Army is one of those agencies, and we have been fortunate to work alongside them over the years. This month they hosted the Employment Week Workshop at their facility located  near downtown Raleigh. We are grateful for their partnership and support!



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Learning in Little Steps

Our children in Little Steps are constantly learning and growing. This month, they worked on name recognition using ice cream. The children really enjoyed adding the scoops to the ice cream cone and then counting how many scoops they had according to the letters in their name. The kids had so much fun, while also gaining important skills they will need.



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Alumni News

StepUp Ministry’s Alumni program continues to grow. We had 75% engagement from our most recent graduates in our June 2017 Life Skills Class. We’re looking forward to having them join in on Wake Tech class and become Toastmasters members. Two alumnae attended a three-day conference (Transform U Live) sponsored by Journey Principles Institute.  They will also participate in a live radio taping in August.  Stay tuned for more.


Spotlight on StepUp Alumni

Alum Nickia Baker is published. Her company (Sheer Elegance Events NC) was recently featured in Munaluchi Bridal online for her work as a wedding event planner.  More information can be found at


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Welcome to the Board!

This July, we welcomed six new members to our board of directors. These six individuals come to us with experience in business, leadership, service, etc. They are passionate about our mission, and we are excited to have these incredible people on our team.

Anna White Hosea, Community Leader

Brandon Lowery, BLLC Landscaping

Pierre Marcella, Wingswept

Andrew Rose, Capitol Financial Solutions

Katherine Ross, Parker Poe

DeShelia Spann, Harte Hanks

The StepUp Ministry Board of Directors represents the diversity of faith congregations, financial resources, expertise, community partnerships, and volunteers it will take to strengthen StepUp in the coming years.


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Volunteers of the Year

We could not accomplish the work we do without all of our many volunteers, and we had a chance to recognize a few of them at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Party in April. Our Volunteer of the Year Awards went to:

Connie Hudson—Employment Team Volunteer of the Year

Crissy Keye Rollins—Adult Life Skills Volunteer of the Year

Aaron Stanford—Real World Volunteer of the Year

Hayes Barton Baptist Church—Alumni Volunteer of the Year

Sheldon Fox—Development Volunteer of the Year

Linda Atack—Children’s Volunteer of the Year

Carolyn Johnson and Ann Hanley—Volunteers of the Year


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Volunteer Today

Is your schedule slowing down for the summer? Are you looking for a way to get involved in the Raleigh community? Please consider volunteering with StepUp! We are in need of volunteers in the following areas:

  1. Co-Partners: We are short 10 co-partners for the next phase. Will you fill that role? Serve as a one-on-one mentor weekly in our Life Skills Program for adults or young adults.
  2. Summer Meals: Prepare meals for the summer, a great opportunity for a group to serve!
  3. Children’s Program: Read to, play with, and encourage children ages 6 weeks-16.

For more information, please contact Laura Martin at (919) 781-0156 ext. 126 or


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Success Story: Karen Evans

In May of 2016, when Karen Evans came through our Employment program she was seeking change. For most of her life, she’d worked temp positions and wanted more. After completing the workshop, Karen felt confident and encouraged by the valuable information “tools” that she was able to add to her toolkit of life. Karen began her job search empowered and with a new outlook. She quickly secured a position that ultimately became full-time with benefits.  Today Karen is gearing up for graduation and recently received the keys to her new vehicle through our Wheels for Hope partnership!  

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Hikers Step Up Raises $5,000

Four men stepped on the trail on Friday, May 19 with more than their hiking boots and backpacks. They stepped on the trail with a greater purpose, a mission to help people build lives of stability. Thanks to Craig Dunkley, Geoff Abell, Larry Kaminski, and Glyn Jones for choosing to make your 34 miles in just TWO days about more than yourselves. StepUp is grateful for the hard work and dedication of this team that raised almost $5,000!


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