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Striving Through Positivity

“No one saves us but ourselves, no one can in no way, we can be lead but we ourselves must walk the path.”

When Herbert Watson joined the Employment Program, it quickly became apparent that those words were ones he truly lived by. In spite of many obstacles that arose during his employment search after his completion of the Jobs Week, Herbert never lost sight of his positivity and dedication.

Determined to succeed, he completed everything asked of him quickly and never gave up when the answer from an employer was no. Although having a criminal background may have slowed him down, he never considered giving up.

Today, Herbert is a proud member of the staff at Hayes Barton Baptist Church. It is great to have him join us at ENER-G on Wednesdays to encourage and motivate the new members of the StepUp Ministry Employment Program. He is also expecting his first child this year!!

StepUp Real World Youth are Going Places

StepUp Ministry is pleased to introduce you to our Real World 2016 High School graduates. These young adults have been admitted into multiple universities, including North Carolina Central, Elizabeth City State, South Carolina State, Mars Hill University, and Wake Technical College.

These young adults have shown resilience to over come the seen and unseen obstacles in the educational system. Our sincere hope for them is to continue to move forward in positive directions and not be held back by the woes of systemic oppression. Congratulations to them all, and we hope to have played some small positive part in their life! 

Promotions Among Life Skills Graduates

Graduation is a time of joy and promotion. It is always a great time to celebrate the accomplishments of those completing the 48-week Life Skills Program. It has been a joyous time with the June 2016 Christ Church graduates. On June 16th, StepUp had 23 graduates. Six graduates were from Christ Church, nine graduates were from White Memorial, and eight were Children’s Program graduates.

  • Al Ashe, Produce Clerk at the North Hills Harris Teeter, was recognized as the May Employee of the Month
  • Theodore Stroud received a $1 raise at his job with Ron's Landscaping.
  • Dennis Foster, Lead Line Cook at Buffalo Wild Wings, received a recent promotion and monetary raise
  • Shonte Wilson works at Searstone in Cary and was recently promoted to full-time Concierge
  • Ricky Privette has become a new volunteer with the youth of his church.
  • Willard Mallard celebrated his one-year anniversary at Newcomb and Company

Each participant has done something to move closer to stability over the last year. StepUp Ministry is grateful for the opportunity to have served them!

StepUp’s Partnership with Passage Home

StepUp Ministry and Passage Home have partnered to better serve the community numerous times.  We currently have a referral pipeline between StepUp's Jobs Team and Passage Home’s Workforce Development Program. More recently, StepUp partnered with Passage Home by co-hosting a career fair at NC Works on February 18, 2016. This career fair was such a huge success that our organizations have agreed to partner again for a larger career fair on July 20, 2016. This fair will also be held at NC Works-Tillery Place. We hope to see your face in the place! Let’s get people jobs!

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Aubrey Takes Life Skills by Storm

On any given Tuesday, you can catch Aubrey Chapman surrounded by a group of laughing volunteers with their undivided attention. This kid is full of character and he is definitely not afraid to show it! Aubrey is finishing up his 1st grade year at Fuller Elementary and is looking forward to taking 2nd grade by storm! Aubrey loves to read and tell stories. He is also a master on the monkey bars! Aubrey really enjoys hanging out with Mr. Matt, one of our long time volunteers in the Children’s Program. Generally if you see Mr. Matt, Aubrey isn’t far behind him. Aubrey comes to StepUp with his mother, Lashya Sutton, and little sister, Briahana, who is in our little steps program. The three of them are currently in Phase 4, so they will be graduating in June. It has been a joy to get to know this awesome kid and watch him grow and develop over the last year!


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Car Blessing of Sarah Thompson

“I don’t have to get up and be at the bus stop at 5:30AM to get the kids to school and me to work anymore.” – Sarah Thompson, current Life Skills participant (pictured)

“I never owned a computer of my own before. The library was always a ‘hit or miss’ thing; and when you are looking for a job, that’s not what you need to have.” – March 2016 Graduate


In today’s society, it is almost a necessity to have transportation and access to the Internet without limitation. Aside from the Life Skills Program offering our participants advice and methodology on financial literacy/budgeting, spiritual development, and networking opportunities, we also collaborate with some outstanding community resource partners. Wheels4Hope and the United Way/Teaming 4 Technology partnerships have been two of the most used, to date. The benefit provided to individuals has been immeasurable and life changing. We continue to build bridges to better lives by developing new pathways to opportunities that could be just out of reach for some individuals facing challenges. We are always happy to see our participants afforded a blessing that enhances their lives and makes everyday tasks easier to undertake.

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Behind The Scenes…Many Hands Make Light Work at StepUp!

“What can our group do to help StepUp?”  We love answering this call!  Thank you to the groups who recently donated their time, hands and hearts to StepUp:

·Hayes Barton Baptist Church: Put together 50 binders for Life Skills

·Hayes Barton United Methodist Church:  Deep clean of the StepUp Offices

·St. Michael’s Episcopal Church:  Easter Baskets for children

·Temple Beth Or: Alumni Meals

·Church of The Apostles Fellows:  Sorting Men’s Clothes for GG’s Closet

·Junior League: Valentine’s Party, Easter Egg Hunt, Mailings

Is your group looking for a project this summer?  Come serve a meal at Tuesday Life Skills, Thursday Alumni or Employment Week Graduation. 

Call Suzanne Templeton for more information and details:  919-781-0156, x111.


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Congrats to Ashley Campbell, StepUp Board Chair

Ashley Campbell, StepUp’s Board Chair, is a trial attorney and partner at Ragsdale Liggett PLLC in Raleigh, NC. Ashley is also the current president-elect of the Wake County Bar Association and Tenth Judicial District Bar. She has been chosen to lead the Community Law Clinic of Campbell Law School. Ashley will be a guide for law students as they assist organizations in providing legal services to the community in need.

The Community Law Clinic will open its doors for the fall 2016 semester. It will provide backup legal services free of charge to area non-profit agencies and their clients. Some of these non-profit agencies include StepUp Ministry, Urban Ministries of Wake County, and Raleigh Rescue Mission.

Ashley has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, the North Carolina Bar Association, North Carolina Super Lawyers, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly, and the Triangle Business Journal for her success, leadership, and community involvement.

StepUp Ministry is honored to have Ashley Campbell as our Board Chair!


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Art Ross, StepUp Board Member, Is Honored

Art Ross has been honored as the 2016 Distinguished Alumni from Union Presbyterian Seminary. Art has served 5 years on StepUp’s board.


Art is a graduate of Davidson College and Union Presbyterian Seminary. He served in the army as an infantry officer. He has served many churches including one in Brooklyn, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, Jacksonville, Florida, Morehead City, North Carolina, and St. Petersburg, Florida. Most recently, he was the preacher at White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, North Carolina for 15 years, before retiring in 2009.

In retirement, Art occasionally preaches and serves as a pastoral resource for individuals and congregations in the areas of conflict resolution, strategic leadership, mentoring teams, and stewardship.

StepUp is proud to have Art Ross has a board member, and we celebrate this award!

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Taneisha's Story

My name is Taneisha Bryant, and I am a mother of two. I relocated here from NYC two years ago. My journey to StepUp Ministry was filled with many obstacles and disappointments, including homelessness and having a hard time finding employment. That is what ultimately led me to StepUp Ministry.


Upon hearing about StepUp, I was discouraged and felt like this program would be no different than the others. I was terribly wrong. This program is the best thing that has happened for my family and I since moving to Raleigh. The Jobs Friends program ensured that I was prepared in every aspect to actively job search and also gave me the necessary tools to rock ANY interview. The confidence I walked away from Jobs Friends with is embedded in me forever. I am currently in Phase 3 of the Life Skills program. The consistent accountability I get in the Life Skills program to keep going and stay connected is unbelievable, even after a year of being involved. If I could start over and do it all again, I would.

The primary reason I joined StepUp Ministry was for my children. The Children's program is so dynamic, and even at 3 and 1 years old, my children absolutely love it.  The support, commitment, and unwavering love my children get from the staff cannot be made up nor replaced.

I am 6 months into the Life Skills program and have already accomplished so much: securing a stable job, obtaining my license and receiving my first vehicle, moving into my own place, networking and establishing new relationships, and receiving a host of information that will carry me through my life. With only 6 months left of my program, I am looking forward to achieving even more goals, such as home ownership and obtaining my Social Work degree. StepUp Ministry is Raleigh's best kept secret, and its time to let the world know what all they have to offer. StepUp Ministry is the best thing that has happened to me!

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Volunteer Awards!

StepUp Volunteers plant seeds of hope, faith and love with all who come through our doors.  We are grateful to all our wonderful volunteers who bloom where they are planted at StepUp.  We honor this year's Volunteer Award Recipients:

  • North Carolina State University – Employer of the Year
  • Bill Smith – Employment Team Volunteer of the Year
  • Randee Gordon – Alumni Volunteer of the Year
  • Mandy Montah – Children's Program Volunteer of the Year
  • Brian Kelleher – Adult Life Skills Volunteer of the Year
  • Bryant Paris – Steppin' In Award
  • Jacques Oury – Steppin' In Award

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Employment Update

Renee was a participant who came through the Employment Program in November of 2015. She completed the week strong and started her employment journey with StepUp. After a few weeks in the program, Renee stepped out in faith and decided to move to Washington D.C. with her family. Although this was a new and challenging chapter in her life, she took full advantage of what she absorbed during Employment Week and went out and landed a great position. After receiving this position, she emailed the employment team this wonderful testimony.


"This is Renee Brewington, I attended your class back in December. I wasthe last class to graduate. I have a success story for all of you. I leftthe Carolinas in December and moved to Washington DC whereI started looking for work a week after I arrived, and thanks to you guysand that awesome resume, I received over a dozen replies and 4 interviews.I was so lucky to have all of you on my side because I received an offerfor a full time permanent position with an insurance co. I remember themock interview so well, and it served me justice because those same questionswere asked in this interview on Monday and you know I was ready... I amworking as a temp for the same people that interviewed me on Monday... Soonce again DO NOT STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING IT WORKS!!!! If you ever wantto branch out up this way to share your skills in the Washington DC area,I will be more than happy to be a part of your wonderful team.  Make sureyou tell all the other recruiters thank you for their contribution to myfuture. Please believe that GOD has shown me Favor....

Love Always, 

Renee’ Brewington"

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Alumni Update

The Alumni program has been providing courses and seminars toward professional career development. As a result, we're proud to welcome new alumni with graduations in year 2012 forward. It appears that the news is getting out about all the fun we're having!

In addition, earlier this year the StepUp Speakers' Circle of Toastmasters International celebrated our first anniversary as a member of Toastmasters International.  In recognition of this milestone, the District Director presented officers and members with TM pins to commemorate the successful and continued commitment to club growth and development. 


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Craig Steps Up

On April 15th, Craig Dunkley started a three-day, thirty-mile hike of the Art Loeb Trail in the Pisgah National Forest near Asheville. Over the next three days, Craig traversed a challenging and technical terrain that climbed several 6,000-foot peaks including Black Balsam Knob, one of the highest points in North Carolina. Craig, a dedicated volunteer, used his love of hiking to support StepUp Ministry by raising money for each mile that he hiked. He originally set out to raise $2,000 dollars through his hike, but through his fundraising efforts, was able to double that amount! As of today, Craig has raised $3,980 from his hike.

We thank Craig for his dedication and creativity as he raises awareness and support for StepUp! 

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Expanding the Real World

The Real World and the Employment Program have been partnering together to provide employment training for young adults starting at the age of 18 years old.  During each Employment Week, there have been young adults exposed to the pertinent information given out in Employment Weeks. So far, we have had eight young adults come through and participate in Employment Week.  These young adults were exposed to information that can lead to them being gainfully employed and maintaining employment; 50% of these young adults completed the jobs week, and 75% of those young adults have enrolled into our Real World program on Tuesday nights.

Through the collaborative work between the Employment Team, and the Real World Program, young adults have been given an opportunity that they once did not have. StepUp’s goal is to be the premier employment resource in Wake County for young adults aged 18 to 21.  We are excited about all the possibilities, and we are hopeful to see a significant increase in the number of young adults who partner with us for employment. 

Please spread the news and let any young adult you know about the opportunity available for employment training at StepUp!


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Job Seeker Profile: Nickia Baker

Nickia is a hard working mother of two who comes equipped with perseverance and a positive attitude. She is committed to her health, her two beautiful little girls, and is currently in Phase IV of our Life Skills Program. Nickia brings years of experience and expertise in the field of administration working previously for the North Carolina ABC board. Due to lack of funding, her position was cut, so she is now working as a caterer to support her family. She is currently seeking a full time position in administration. If you or anyone you know has a connection to an admin job available please contact Angela Coleman at


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Life Skills Update: Willard Mallard

After being released from prison on March 18, 2015, Willard Mallard came to StepUp Ministry seeking to make a change and utilize the HVAC certifications he obtained while in prison.   Willard completed our Jobs Week Program and became employed at Newcomb and Company in June 2015. 

Willard is entering Phase IV of our Life Skills Program and has made tremendous progress toward his goals. He has transitioned from a halfway house, to a shelter, to signing a lease to an apartment next month.  He understands the importance of staying current with industry trends, and is completing a Commercial HVAC class at Wake Tech. He will be enrolling in an Electrician class in May.  Willard is proof that second chances are possible and happen everyday.  What a difference a year makes!  

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StepUp Kids Learn the Fruit of the Spirit

Throughout the month of February, the children of the Little Steps Program learned about the Fruit of the Spirit.  We were fortunate enough to have two of StepUp’s most dedicated volunteers, Mandy Monath and her daughter Molly, present a different lesson each week about the different Fruit of the Spirit. The children learned a song and created crafts; they also designed a mural that they added a “badge” to each week representing each of the themes they learned! 

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Moving Forward

On March 11th, another class of talented and driven individuals successfully completed Employment Week. It was a special afternoon full of laughter, hugs, high fives, and tears of happiness. The most memorable moment of the graduation service however was when participant, Cecilia Becoat, stood up and delivered a heartfelt poem she penned as inspiration to herself and everyone else in her class. Take a look at what she wrote.

Moving Forward…

We have indeed stepped up, transcending past our pains and onward to our purpose.

Pushing though the personal obstacle courses our different walks of life have taken us.

As we shake off our doubts and combat with fear along the way.

We've done it, yes tell yourselves “ I did this for me”…

Now trust yourselves as you move forward from here,

Never casting away our confidence, for it has great recompense for reward.

Now’s the time we must move forward, we must press on toward our marks of success.

We’re moving in favor and with the blessings of the Lord.

It’s time we stand tall, becoming the people the Lord designed us to be.

With God all things are possible, we all have the victory.

The bonds we created, may they strengthen as we succeed.

I believe our class was hand picked and weeded out intentionally.

Even the Step Up staff and each volunteer had a part to play.

Thanks for believing in us and seeing what we could not see.

Now our eyes, hearts and spirits have been opened,

No longer blinded by our yesterdays, today is grand and new.

Not only have we been dressed for success, we each wear it very well.

They say a journey of a thousands miles begins with a single step,

Well guys we’ve already taking quite a few,

Therefore keep moving forward regardless of what may come.

Our faith will be tested, our patience will be tried, yet we’ll be proven.

Never, ever give, you’ve come too far to quit or back down now.

Have a spirit of expectancy, I firmly believe we’re each about to give birth

to goals, visions, careers and dreams.

Our Step Up Team of midwives and their partnerships of Drs. and Nurses are travailing with us…Fully aware of what’s been conceived…

Let me leave you with there last few simply words, ONLY BELIEVE!!!


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