Come Celebrate with Us!

It's graduation time again, and we want you to join us Wednesday, September 12, as we celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates and all those who have walked with them on this journey.

The ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. on September 12 at Christ Church. We hope to see you there!


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Stage Talent? We've got it.

...well, our StepUp kids do at least.

After an exciting summer of fun for our StepUp children, they are getting back into the swing of the school year with acting classes taught by NC Theatre Conservatory. The Children’s and Real World programs invited NC Theatre Conservatory to come and work with our children on acting skills.

We have so many talented young people in our program, so it was not hard for any of our children to come out of their box! We are so excited to have NC Theatre Conservatory come and teach our children and we cannot wait to see what else they have in store for us this month!  


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Alumni in the Digital Age
Kramden Digital Literacy Class

Alumni parents and teens were part of an exciting Digital Literacy Class which they attended for six weeks. Upon completion of the program, each family received two computers for their home. Topics covered included: basic use of computers, internet security, software and hardware, and financial freedom (taught by Coastal Federal Credit Union).

This program was sponsored by a grant through Coastal Federal Credit Union. This grant was made possible through our community partnership with Kramden Institute. 

In addition, our StepUp Speakers Circle elected new offices for the 2018-2019 Club Year.

The Club recently received a Smedley Ribbon for its efforts to recruit and retain members. 

Club Officers:

President: Maxine Terry

VP Education: Tyshone Peterson

VP Membership: Mercedes Ortiz

VP Public Relations: Hind Laraj

Secretary/Treasurer: Elaine Bryant-Donigan

Sergeant at Arms: Joe Ortiz


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Just Do It

Bill Wenner has been volunteering for 20 years. A year ago, his company, Wells Fargo, moved Bill to Raleigh to oversee their auto division.  

In the single year that Bill has lived in Raleigh, he has spent 120 hours volunteering at 10 non-profit organizations in the Triangle. 

StepUp has long received generous support from Wells Fargo. This year, Bill sat on the Wells Fargo committee that reviewed StepUp’s grant application. 

Bill was intrigued with StepUp’s work and reached out to see how he could get involved. Today, Bill is a co-partner in StepUp’s Life Skills program. In this role, Bill works one on one with a mentee and helps him budget, set goals, and plan for the future. Additionally, Bill will be supporting the We Step Up campaign beginning in September 2018.

In his leadership role, he also encourages his 500 employees to get out and volunteer! His team alone has volunteered over 1,000 hours since opening in Raleigh in April 2017.

When asked why he volunteers, Bill sees it as a mental reset, “You can’t have a bad day when you help and think about someone else.” 


Interested in joining Bill as a StepUp volunteer? We need you! Email to learn more.


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Welcome Aboard

With the start of a new fiscal year on July 1, 2018, StepUp welcomed six new members to our Board of Directors. We are excited to welcome Jack Clayton, Maeve Gardner, George Ramsay, Libby Stubbs, John Chapman, and Cameron Rosenow to the board.

When asked why he chose to serve on StepUp’s board of directors, Jack Clayton, a retired Wells Fargo Executive, said, “StepUp does such wonderful work in not only helping individuals find jobs but also teaching them the skills needed to make a job a career and to build a good family life.”

StepUp’s Board of Directors, led by Board Chair, Katherine Anne Hamlin, is vital to the organization’s success. The board assists staff in fundraising, advocacy, and by volunteering in our programs. 

Even new board members know that the people we serve are always the focus of the work we do. Cameron Rosenow said, “I know managing personal finances can be time-consuming and overwhelming, and I’m eager to share what I’ve learned in my line of work to help StepUp participants take control of their financial lives.” Libby Stubbs says she hopes to bring her financial experience to the board and to our life skills participants as well. 

We are glad to have them on board, and look forward to working with the Board to make this year the best one yet for our StepUp family. 

We are grateful for the faithful service of Colleen Camaione-Edmonston, Jimmy Glover, Jimmy Goodmon, John Martin, John Matthews, Anne Ramsay, Michael Story, Anne Underwood, Edmund Waddill, and Jackie Whittenburg, as their board terms ended on June 30. 

Top (left to right): Jack Clayton, George Ramsay, John Chapman  Bottom (left to right): Cameron Rosenow, Maeve Gardner, Libby Stubbs

Top (left to right): Jack Clayton, George Ramsay, John Chapman

Bottom (left to right): Cameron Rosenow, Maeve Gardner, Libby Stubbs

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Giving Back to Those Who Give to Us
Hope Reins.jpg

This past Thursday, we had another great field trip with our children’s team! We had almost twenty kids currently in the program and from Alumni join us for an all-day outing to Durham. We started our day by visiting the Diaper Bank of North Carolina. There, we got to see how the diapers that are donated to our families are packaged, sorted, and delivered. We even got to join in and help out with packaging boxes and boxes of diapers. It was all hands on deck, and everyone joined in with a little competition to see who could get through their stack the fastest! We can’t thank the Diaper Bank enough for showing us how the warehouse works, and for letting our kids jump in and help. We appreciate all that you do for us, and are so thankful for the support you give our families through diapers and wipes.

Diaper Bank.jpg

We refueled our energy with lunch, and headed for our afternoon at Hope Reins. Hope Reins is a wonderful equine facility that serves children and families in Wake County and surrounding areas that need support and comfort during difficult times. They have partnered with StepUp for over 5 years now to host us for an afternoon of fun each summer. The kids got to learn about the horses, go fishing, play games, and enjoy snow cones. Thank you, Hope Reins, for having us. We had a lot of happy but tired kids at the end of the day!


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DHIC says, "A Home is a Catalyst"

At StepUp, we depend on our community partners, because we know that we can’t do it all on our own. One of StepUp’s oldest community partners is the Downtown Housing Improvement Corporation (DHIC). 

Katrina Lyons, a participant turned co-partner turned board member, sits in front of her very first apartment, which she was able to get with the help of DHIC. She is now a home owner!

Katrina Lyons, a participant turned co-partner turned board member, sits in front of her very first apartment, which she was able to get with the help of DHIC. She is now a home owner!

Their mission is to support individuals, families, and seniors by providing homes and opportunities that promote the financial, physical, and mental well-being of people and communities. According to DHIC, “a home is a catalyst for opportunity, independence, and resilience.” 

We know that stable housing is key to the success of our Life Skills participants. Even as they are working in their job, learning how to budget, and making smart financial decisions, our participants are still left looking for stable, safe, affordable housing. 

Some individuals, like James Ivy, are ready for prepare for home ownership, while others may prefer to rent. James said, “I feel so blessed that my wife and I are now well informed and able to purchase a home. We will finally have a place to call home…it’s ours.” Our partnership with DHIC allows them to do whichever is best for their personal needs. 

Katrina Lyons has been working with DHIC since they helped her get her first apartment. She has continued to work hard and has now been able to purchase her own home for the first time. She said, “I am living proof that with hard-work and dedication, you can achieve anything you want, but sometimes you may need a little help and encouragement along the way. DHIC took a chance on me, when no one would. I will forever be grateful to DHIC for helping me become self-sufficient and resilient.”


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StepUp Spotlight: Jacquetta Boone

Jacquetta started with StepUp in July of 2017 as a participant in the Employment Program. Jacquetta was referred to us by Myra Bradley of Catholic Charities. After working hard to complete the Employment Training Workshop, Jacquetta was offered a temporary position with the NCDMV and she accepted.

She continues to work as an employee with NCDMV. In March of 2018 Jacquetta started the Life Skills Program, with aspirations of learning more about handling her finances and about herself. She is currently in Phase Two of the Life Skills program and is doing a fantastic job! When you see Ms. Boone around StepUp, say hello and encourage her as she continues to reach her goals.


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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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StepUp Ministry
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.

FY18 Impact Luncheon Invitation_Border.jpg

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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. 

Real World.jpeg

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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
Cheryl Crump.jpg

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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