StepUp Spotlight: Teresa

Teresa first entered StepUp doors in August 2017.  She completed the Employment Workshop and began Life Skills on September 20, 2017.  Teresa is currently employed at Carroll’s Kitchen and is in the process of being trained to become a manager. She recently completed the Servsafe certification through her employer and is currently in phase IV of the Life Skills program.  

When you see Teresa please help us in congratulating her for her dedication and achievements.  


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Full bellies, happy kids

Each summer we have the opportunity to spend extended amounts of times with our youth and young adults who are engaged in our Life Skills Children’s Program. We truly enjoy our full day adventures and the great educational opportunities for our young people.


In addition to all the great education, the kids have the most fun when it is time to EAT!!! Because of one of our great Children’s Program volunteers and her connections we are able to eat at North Carolina State University Clark Dinning hall during our Thursday Outings.

I wanted to take the opportunity to thank Ms. Liza Shelton for her dedication to our StepUp Ministry Children’s Program. I speak for all of us on staff and the children when I say thank you for making sure that our bellies are full!


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StepUp Ministry
Great Minds

What happens when you put staff from StepUp Raleigh, Durham and Wilmington in one room for 2 days? Great things!

This past March several of our StepUp staff joined together for 2 days of brainstorming and information sharing. We love our staff and the great work that their doing to ensure StepUp remains current in our ever-changing world and relevant to the people we serve.


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Join us for Life Skills Graduation!

Join in the celebration on Thursday, June 14, as a new class of Life Skills become StepUp Alumni. They have worked long and hard to get where they are, and we think they deserve to be celebrated.

The ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. on June 14 at White Memorial Presbyterian Church. We hope to see you there!


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Thank You, Martin Marietta!

StepUp's Annual Impact Luncheon, presented by Martin Marietta, will be held Monday. We are grateful for Martin Marietta's support, as we create a space for 300 new community members to hear about StepUp.

Their generous gift of $25,000 will help StepUp put numerous people in jobs and get transformational life skills training. We are so very grateful.

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Panel of Public Servants

The Real World program seeks to empower young adults throughout Wake County through professionalism and employment coaching, communication skills, positive decision-making, and encouraging post-secondary education. 

Recently, the Real World invited the Raleigh Police department and two Wake County district court judges to a panel discussion moderated by StepUp Ministry’s very own Elizabeth Butler. Students asked questions regarding proper conduct in the courtroom and how to have safe interactions with police officers. The officers and judges shared testimonies about some of their experiences on the job and what motivated them to choose their careers. 

Students and panelists felt that the conversation was a step in the right direction for police and community relations. 

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Want to help transform a life?

Are you interested in volunteering in a meaningful way, making an impact on someone’s journey?  If so, we have just the opportunity for you!  


We are in need of 15 co-partners, who will walk alongside our Life Skills participants as an extra arm of support in their StepUp journey. The goal is stability in all aspects of life over the long term. 

Each adult is partnered with a staff case manager and a volunteer from the community, who we call a “co-partner.”  Co-partnering is a nine-month commitment every Tuesday (at White Memorial Presbyterian Church) or Wednesday (Christ Episcopal Church) night from 6-8:15pm. Commitment involves meeting once each week to work with an individual as they go through the Life Skills program. 

Our next group of co-partners will start in June so if you are interested, we will get you signed up for a one-on-one training session with our staff so that you feel fully prepared for your new role.

Contact us at or (919) 781-0156 if you are interested in signing up, touring our Life Skills program, or just want more information!


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Muchas Gracias!

StepUp hosted a party at Cantina 18 on Monday, April 16th to show our appreciation for all the hours of work the volunteers give to the ministry. The StepUp staff presented individuals with Volunteer of the Year awards for each department.

The award winners were:

Life Skills - Christine Jardis

Employment - Ruth Landers

Children’s Program - Cathy Monaghan

Alumni Program - Trish Estes

Development - George York

Employer - Royce Company

We Step Up Chairs - Anne and George Ramsay

Congratulations to the award winners, and thank you to all of the 300+ volunteers who allow StepUp to do the work we do each day. We are truly grateful for each one of you.

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Donor Spotlight: Anna White Hosea

Did you know that you can leave a legacy at StepUp by including us in your will? Anna White Hosea, a StepUp board member and community leader, recently decided to make a lasting impact on StepUp. Here is what she had to say about her decision:


"I recently named StepUp as a beneficiary of my IRA.  Making philanthropy a part of my estate planning, while also making provisions for our children and each other, is something that my husband and I think is very important. I feel good about supporting an organization that I love, and it also makes good financial sense for me and my family. This is a gift that costs me nothing during my lifetime, but will eventually benefit some future StepUp participant."

Have questions about including StepUp in your planned giving? Please contact Mary Allison Raper, Director of Development, at (919) 781-0156 ext. 125 or


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StepUp Spotlight: Cheryl Crump
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Most individuals come to StepUp seeking employment, directly or indirectly.  In the case of Cheryl Crump, it was to get a refresher on some employability skills to seek an upgrade in employment from her weekend clerical position.  It came in handy because, shortly after completing her workshop, she found herself phased out of her job.  She worked with her Employment Counselor to further enhance her resume and job seeking strategy that enabled her to land a contract position with the NC Department of Revenue (which she currently holds).  She is happy about the opportunity and is making the most of it while developing new transferable skills, to boot.  We are so very glad to have assisted Cheryl with her ability to StepUp!


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Alumni Making an Impact

Several of our Alumni Adults and One Youth spoke at three services during StepUp Sunday at White Memorial Presbyterian Church on Sunday, January 14, 2018.

Adult Speakers were Saraha Robertson, Latanya Dugger, and Keith Sutton. Youth Speaker was Natalya Young (daughter of Latanya Dugger).

Each spoke about their reasons for coming to the program and shared how their involvement in StepUp changed their future. Each came to StepUp for different reasons and all left with a sense of accomplishment and hope for the future.  

NC Governor Roy Cooper attended the 11 am service and spent time speaking with Alumni speakers to encourage and congratulate them. Governor Cooper also stated that he made a special point to attend, stating that StepUp Sunday was an important event for him and that he looked forward to it each year.

In addition, StepUp Ministry’s alumni program has been awarded a digital literacy class sponsored by Kramden Institute and Coastal Credit Union.  Adult and Middle/High School alumni will participate in a series of five (5) classes focused on:

Day 1 – Computer Basics

Day 2 – Office Programs

Day 3 – Internet Basics

Day 4 – Social Media and Smart Sharing

Day 5 – Financial Literacy (Coastal Federal Credit Union)

Adults and Youth (Grades 6 – 12) will each receive a laptop once classes are completed. Kramden Institute is a new partner and StepUp Ministry and we greatly appreciative for the opportunity to bring this class to Alumni Adults/Youth with limited access to computers at home. 


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Kids Learn Culture

This month the kids at StepUp had the opportunity to participate in cultural day, which is an event that we have once a year giving our children a chance to learn about a culture that they may not be familiar with. Our guest speaker this year was Farah Campbell; she came and shared her Haitian heritage with the kids. Both of Farah’s parents were born and raised in Haiti and later moved to the United States to raise their family.

The Kids had the chance to see the Haitian flag and see where Haiti is located on the map. They learned about traditions and some of the many festivals that are held in Haiti. Farah taught them a few useful phrases in Haitian Creole such as “Sa ki pase” which means, “ What’s up?” and “Bonswa” which means “good evening”. The kids also got to move around a bit and learned a traditional Haitian dance while listening to some music. They had the opportunity to try fried plantains which are very popular Haitian dish. It was a night filled with learning and exposure, and the kids had a great time!


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Protect and Serve StepUp's Kids

This month in the Children’s program we had one of our Police Officers come and talk about what she really does on her job. We thought that having her come and talk to our children would be a great way for them to ask questions and share some of their stories with her. Some of our children even shared that they want to one day become an officer. Officer Delva did a great job with showing our children the different roles that many officers have. She even talked about the Officer who pulls us over for speeding!

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StepUp Spotlight: Mary Harris
Mary Harris

This month’s featured participant of the Step Two Program is Mary Harris.  Mary has been employed at Holly Hill Hospital since 1985, where she manages about ten or more subordinates in housekeeping.  When Mary initially began Life Skills back in September, she joined with the intent of getting a better handle of her finances.  Fast forward, 24 weeks later, Mary has not only created a budget but is operating within her budget and checking off her goals.   Mary may seem quiet, but she is in fact silently making strategic financial decisions for her future.  We applaud Mary-keep stepping up!

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Xtremely Inspired

At StepUp Ministry, our vision is to be the premier resource in Wake County for people seeking to improve their lives and develop stable careers. Members of our staff were able to meet with current high school sophomores and juniors seeking to do exactly that at Xtreme Beginnings.

One of the many attributes that makes StepUp a premier resource is our dedication to helping people of all ages improve their lives and develop stable careers. Gainful employment changes the lives of not only the individual and their family. It changes entire communities.

On March 27, members of the Employment, Children and Real World Programs of StepUp Ministry, partnered with Wake County Public School Systems to conduct mock interviews for sophomore and high school students. The 18th Annual Xtreme Beginnings Event grants students the opportunity to gain a better understanding of their career options as they continue the career exploration process.

It was an honor to sit in a room full of the students of today and leaders of tomorrow. The event was a wonderful opportunity to open the eyes and minds of the next generation’s workforce to an array of educational and career opportunities.

We look forward to returning next year and to our continued partnership with WCPSS to encourage and support our students.

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StepUp Spotlight: Jerry Holder

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In 2017, Jerry Holder walked through the doors of StepUp, looking for a life changing opportunity. After completing the employment week, he found that opportunity when we assisted him in landing a position at one of StepUp’s most supportive employers. Fast-forward about 10 months, Jerry continued to work hard and stayed dedicated to his position at the StepUp employer. There was one issue, Jerry needed full time work to support his self and his daughter. Although the employer created a good opportunity for Jerry by giving him a chance for employment, they did not have the full time hours Jerry needed at this point in his life.


Jerry reached back out to the team, for assistance in finding a position that offered full-time hours. After patience and continued hard work, Jerry received a call to go on an interview at Penders Antiques. Following the interview the employer offered Jerry a position on the spot. Being the professional that Jerry is, he thanked the employer for the opportunity and let them know he needed to give his current employer a 2-week notice before starting. Jerry worked his 2 weeks, and started his wonderful full time position at Penders Antiques. Jerry’s story is an example of what hard work, dedication, and professionalism will get you. Jerry assured the team that he would continue to leap out on faith, and never stop seeking opportunities to grow and be successful in life.


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StepUp Spotlight: Ericka Bateman

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Ericka entered StepUp Ministry through a referral from Redirection, a transitional housing program. She finished the Employment Workshop in August 2017 and entered the Life Skills program the following month. Since her enrollment in the Life Skills program, she has obtained her drivers license, purchased a car through Wheels4Hope, completed Peer Support Specialist training, and just recently signed a lease to her very own apartment. Ericka works fulltime as a waitress and is considered one of the most dedicated workers. She is currently in phase II of the Life Skills program and is looking forward to setting and reaching more goals.


When you see Ericka please help us in congratulating her for all of her accomplishments.  


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Volunteer? Care giver? Rock star.

Bonnie Whitehead, has been a volunteer with the Sunday school at her own church, and jumped at the opportunity to help another group in the nursery setting. She was first introduced to StepUp back in June of 2011, and is now going into her third year of volunteering with us. 

Bonnie Whitehead

Bonnie loves to get the chance to work with a child one on one, since that really gives you a glimpse into their own world. She loves to learn their interests, likes, and dislikes, so she can better adapt to their needs. 

When asked what her favorite memory was so far as a volunteer, Bonnie told me, "My time at Step Up has provided far too many touching memories to select a favorite but the common theme among them: the children's pride. Words cannot really convey the look on a shy, unassuming eleven-year-old child's face when he explained how he was going to be an "entomologist" when he grew up. Or the expression on the very timid four-year-old as she showed me she had learned her colors just this past Wednesday! Also I can never forget incredible little Rakwan, a special needs child whom I met on my very first day. His smile lit up the room and it's just one of the many moments I will always cherish. So you can see that on a regular basis I leave Christ Church with my heart filled with joy and hope for these amazing, deserving children. It is certainly a rich reward in and of itself and I'm so grateful to Step Up for providing this opportunity to serve.”

We thank Bonnie, and all of our wonderful volunteers for helping to enrich the lives of our participants, both young and old. We could not do it without you! 


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Meet Kathleen and Ashton

We have two recent additions to our StepUp team, so we want you all to have a chance to get to know them. Meet Kathleen and Ashton!

Kathleen Liebowitz is StepUp’s new Volunteer Coordinator. This will be her first job in the nonprofit field, as she has spent the last twenty plus years working in healthcare as a registered dietitian.  She had the opportunity to volunteer as a co-partner for StepUp Ministry many years ago and decided if there was ever a job opening for her there, she would jump at the chance. She has already enjoyed meeting co-partners, instructors, participants and potential volunteers in the two weeks she has been on our team, and is looking forward to future opportunities.

Kathleen Liebowitz
Ashton Herbert

Ashton Herbert, originally from Richmond, VA, is joining us as our Children’s Program Coordinator. In her first two weeks, her favorite part of her job has been meeting and working with so many sweet and wonderful children, and figuring out how to tailor the program to serve their best interests and needs. She chose to join our team because she loved her time as a StepUp volunteer. When she saw the opportunity to join the team officially, she could not think of a better place to go next in her career. In her free time, Ashton loves to be outside and travel as much as she can. She enjoys running, and loves a good arts and craft project. She is a huge sports fan, and have a soft spot for college football and soccer! Fun fact… Ashton has a twin sister who is one minute younger than her.

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StepUp Spotlight: Charles Pope
Charles Pope

Has anyone ever given you a recommendation for something, and you seem apprehensive about it? Yet, once you finally made a committed decision to take the first step, you realized it was a great opportunity!

A similar experience happened to Charles Pope. One of Charles’ friends recommended him to attend the Employment Workshop Training Week several times until he finally said yes.

Once Charles completed the Employment Workshop, he left feeling renewed, positive, and ready to move forward with his goals. Before that, Charles ran into some personal challenges that left him feeling depressed and hopeless. The positive vibes, encouragement, and indispensable employability tools forged him into his next chapter.

Charles was seeking a position that would fit his availability, personality, and personal preferences as well as align with the company needs.

I am happy to announce that Charles is working at Christ Church as a security officer. Both he and the employer are very pleased.


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