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Steps to Success Inc.

 24 Webster Place
 Brookline, MA 02445
[P] (617) 713-5310
[F] --
Shoma Haque
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 47-1641692

LAST UPDATED: 04/05/2018
Organization DBA --
Former Names Brookline School-Community Partnership (2000)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of Steps to Success is to enhance educational outcomes for students from low income families in order to defeat the cycle of poverty.

Mission Statement

The mission of Steps to Success is to enhance educational outcomes for students from low income families in order to defeat the cycle of poverty.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $824,859.00
Projected Expense $770,896.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • College Success Initiative
  • STS School Success Program
  • Summer Programs

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The mission of Steps to Success is to enhance educational outcomes for students from low income families in order to defeat the cycle of poverty.

Background Statement

Fifteen years ago, Steps to Success brought the community of Brookline together to tackle the seemingly intractable academic achievement gap between low-income students and their higher income counterparts in this socio-economically diverse town. We formed the Brookline School-Community Partnership to fill the vacuum of support services and programs for this group of young people and their families, particularly those living in public housing. The Partnership won a federal GEAR UP grant in 2000, and formally launched Steps to Success in 2001. Steps to Success partners with the Public Schools of Brookline and the Brookline Housing Authority, as well as area higher education partners and over 25 area employers who host and mentor summer interns. Six core principles distinguish the STS model:

I. STS engages students early and for the long-term. Since substantial changes in attitude and behavior do not occur overnight, we begin in 4th grade, before our students enter the critical middle school years and continue intensive programming throughout middle and high school and beyond.

II. The program takes a comprehensive approach to closing the achievement gap. There is no silver bullet! A variety of age appropriate activities in STS provide educational support, enrichment, exposure to new experiences, and opportunities for students both in schools and in their community.

III. Steps to Success creates an “I am going to college” mindset, introducing our students early and often to higher education settings and to the many practical reasons for going on to college or training programs.

IV. Steps to Success is a relationship-based and family-centered program. Building close partnerships with parents and guardians is a key component of helping STS students succeed through a unique and intensive advising system.

V. Steps to Success takes all comers! To create a sea change in the success rate for this population, STS considers ALL low-income students in public housing in grades 4-12 to be part of the program (not just the most talented or at-risk). And more than 90% of them participate each year.

VI. Steps to Success fosters collaboration, bringing together local institutions (most importantly the school system and public housing authority) that do not typically communicate, and achieving progress toward closing the complex achievement gap.

Impact Statement

Together with our partners-- the Public Schools of Brookline and Brookline Housing Authority -- Steps to Success has achieved results.  

Prior to STS, in any given year only 30-50% of students living in public housing matriculated to college. With the comprehensive academic support and mentoring provided by STS, 87% of public housing students in Brookline’s class of 2006 matriculated to college, and STS has increased this to over 90% each year since then. This year for the first time, 100% of STS high school graduates enrolled in college or another post-secondary program for the fall. 

Importantly, most are staying: 84% of STS college students are currently on track to graduate in six years or by age 24. This compares favorably to national averages in which only 10% of low income students graduate from college by the age of 24.

Also this past year, we have maintained participation of 90% of public housing students from grades 4 -12; and we have enabled real-world work experience for students through summer internships with more than 25 local employers.

Organizational goals for the current year include:

-Expand STEM curriculum in elementary/middle school programming

-Expand after-school programming for 5th-8th grade students

 -Expand summer enrichment program for 4th - 12th grade students to include more internship opportunities, academic enrichment, and literacy programs

Needs Statement

Seeking grant support for a program in a town erroneously perceived as uniformly wealthy and bordering the City of Boston has proved a challenge.  STS relies on private support for all of our programs, including the staffing, supplies, and overhead required to run the following:

College Success Initiative - $156,641
Extended Learning Programs - $130,154
Summer Camps and Internships - $167,002

CEO Statement

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.

Brookline, MA

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools
  2. Youth Development -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



College Success Initiative

College Success Initiative (CSI) was launched in 2009 as a response to the alarming national statistics about college success for low-income students. According to a 2008 report by the Pell Institute, low-income, first-generation college students were nearly four times more likely to leave college after their first year. Within six years of entering college, only 11% earned a degree compared with 55% of their more advantaged peers. CSI goes beyond the initial college admission process to ensure Steps to Success students receive the support they need to earn a degree and pursue successful careers.

Today, the CSI team works with 80 Steps to Success college students at institutions all across the country. In addition to career and life-skills programming, the program offers one-on-one personal, academic, and financial advising sessions for all of the students we serve. CSI works with an additional 200 STS high school graduates enrolled in or preparing to matriculate to college or post secondary programs. The College Success Advisors address the key areas necessary for college success individually with each of our CSI students. These include general quality of life issues, balancing employment and school work, adequate financial aid, and academic success. Since the CSI Advisors share an office with STS High School Advisors, they become acquainted with students over the course of their senior year as they are applying to college.  The CSI Advisors provide transitional support to freshmen after they have been accepted, helps resolve financial aid issues, assists students to transfer colleges or transition from 2- to 4-year programs, maintains connection with students not in college, and ensures that students in post-secondary programs persist until completion.
Budget  $110,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served College Aged (18-26 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
Short term successes for STS graduates enrolled in the College Success Initiative might include timely submission of their FAFSA forms without a reminder from the College Success Advisor, accessing on-campus academic support on their own, or even dropping one of four extracurricular activities they signed up for during the first week of freshmen year in order to bring their grades up. Any milestone that signals increased independence, self advocacy, long range planning, or time management are ones that Steps to Success works carefully to promote. 
Program Long-Term Success 
As a result of the College Success Initiative, over (1) 90% of graduating STS seniors will matriculate to college or another post-secondary program and (2) 80% of STS high school graduates will continue to persist in college/post-secondary school as measured by completion in 6 yrs by age 24.
Program Success Monitored By  Steps to Success tracks college entry and persistence rates for all of our high school graduates. We also track other important indicators
including financial aid histories, transfers from 2 to 4 year colleges,
participation in activities related to CSI such as Facebook page hits,
attendance at CSI events, Campus Clubs involvement, use of STS Scholarship Fund money, and degree completion among other indicators. A yearly survey of freshman and sophomore alumni enables Steps to Success to gather important qualitative and quantitative information about the college transition process and the usefulness of our program for participants.
Examples of Program Success 

100% of STS graduating high school seniors from the class of 2016 matriculated to college or other post-secondary educational programs this year; 84% of College Success Initiative participants (the last 4 STS high school classes) are enrolled and persisting in college; and 100% of these students are on track to graduate within 6 years versus only 10% of their lower income peers nationwide.


STS School Success Program

The School Success Program starts in grade four and continues through high school. The comprehensive program is designed to help students succeed and graduate high school, equipped to persist into and through post-secondary education with: 1) academic support and skill-building opportunities, individual advising and out-of-school time enrichment programs; 2) intensive preparation and support for post-secondary education through college visits, tutoring and mentoring; 3) school-to-career connections through paid summer internships; and, 4) family support.

Elementary and middle school students are served in two Extended Learning Programs, After Hours University and Teen Advantage, which provide students in grades 4 to 8 with structured homework time and enriching activities that they would not be able to otherwise afford or have the opportunity to experience. Programs are offered after school, combining innovative learning with fun, mentoring and tutoring, and providing community engagement opportunities.

High school students need and benefit from receiving personalized academic support as they focus more intently on college goals.  STS facilitates college visits, financial aid supports, and ACT/SAT prep, in addition to running a technology-supported homework support center to keep low-income students on track academically for college.

Budget  $760,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families
Program Short-Term Success 
Short term successes might include students taking advantage of enrichment opportunities, seeking homework or academic support on their own, choosing to enroll in an AP class, or applying for a paid summer internship. Other successes might include a family member attending an STS event for the first time or calling to speak with an Advisor on their own.
Program Long-Term Success 

The STS School Success Program expects to achieve the following outcomes in FY2013-- (1) Maintain participation of at least 90% of Brookline public housing students from grades 4 -12; (2) Exceed 90% college matriculation for graduating seniors; and (3) Involve at least 95% of participating students’ parents and guardians.

Program Success Monitored By 

Advisors submit monthly and quarterly reports detailing each student’s participation and progress in achieving the competencies shaped by their Student Success Plans. The data we collect shows how the mix of STS programs and advisor interactions with students, parents or guardians, and school personnel impacts academic performance, engagement in learning, and skill building.

Examples of Program Success 

This past fall, 100% of STS graduating high school seniors matriculated to college or other post-secondary educational programs! Steps to Success has eliminated the gap in college matriculation between low and higher income students in Brookline. Also, STS students have shown slow but consistent progress improving their grade point averages over the course of their four years in high school, as well as increasing their enrollment in higher-level courses. This year 59% of the STS High School Class of 2012 is enrolled in at least one honors or advanced placement class. This increased from 42% the previous year. The efforts made by STS Advisors to encourage our students to take on the challenge of AP level courses are showing results.


Summer Programs

Summer Connections: Internship program that provides first time, work experience for 40+ rising 8th and 9th graders in the Steps to Success program. Internship hosts vary throughout Brookline. Students work at their internships during the mornings and attend Summer Connections classes in the afternoons. Class subjects vary (i.e. financial literacy, organization workshops, preparation for high school/college, etc.) Internships allow students to become engaged with their community as well as experience an opportunity that may not have been available to them without the program. Interns not only gain work experience but are also paid a stipend for their work.

Work Connections for Youth: Internship program for 45+ Step to Success rising 10th, 11th, 12th graders, and college freshmen that provides students with meaningful job, training, and skill building experiences. Internships for rising 10th and 11th graders are within Brookline non-profit organizations and town sites. Internships for rising 12th graders and college freshmen are throughout the city of Boston. Interns participate in internships as well as workshops and trainings run by Steps to Success.

Budget  --
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Program Short-Term Success  By the end of Summer 2017, 90% or more of students involved in summer programming will have furthered their knowledge pertaining to education and/or job skills while also feeling that their experience was of interest to them and allowed them to think more about future steps
Program Long-Term Success  Provide 100% of eligible Steps to Success students with summer opportunities 
Program Success Monitored By  Orientation interviews and exit interviews with students, staff, and internship hosts, weekly site visits, monitor quality of work in classes/workshops, etc.
Examples of Program Success  Past interns have stated that these programs had a major impact on their confidence and outlook as well as experienced a real-world setting. 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms. Shoma Haque
CEO Term Start Jan 2017
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Shoma Haque brings over twenty years of experience in the field.  Her career has centered around the non-profit sector in Boston for the past 15 years, with positions at the Center for Women & Enterprise, City Year, and Nuestra Comunidad.  Most recently, Ms. Haque served as the Chief Operating Officer at BPE (formerly the Boston Plan for Excellence) a non-profit organization focused on developing great teachers and great schools in the Boston Public School district. Ms. Haque received her undergraduate education from the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a Master’s in City Planning degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Carrie Weatherhead 2012 2013
Janet Selcer 2001 2012

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Herb Carlin Community Health Award Friends of Brookline Public Health 2013
Catalyst for Change Nellie Mae Foundation 2010
One of seven unique and high performing Greater Boston programs worthy of investment Root Cause 2010


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Steps to Success emerged 15 years ago from a coalition called the Brookline School-Community Partnership, based on the premise that it takes the combined efforts of many community institutions to tackle the complicated social issues of educational equity and generational poverty. Still operating under that premise STS relies on strong collaborative relationships with our partners: the Public Schools of Brookline, the Brookline Housing Authority, and fiscal sponsor Third Sector New England. STS also collaborates closely with area higher education partners—Boston College, Boston University, Pine Manor, Newbury, Simmons and Emmanuel Colleges—who provide our students a wealth of campus visits, college mentors and college prep training. In addition, over 25 area employers agree to host and mentor STS interns. STS works in partnership with 8-10 New England camps for summer scholarships, and with the Greater Boston workforce development system through our Next Steps program to re-connect family members with jobs, job training and education. Finally, community volunteers tutor STS students, scout and provide internship opportunities, and offer their experience and expertise in STS After School Programs.



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 4
Number of Part Time Staff 12
Number of Volunteers 50
Number of Contract Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 5
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 10
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? No
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

Directors and Officers Policy
Employment Practices Liability
Crime Coverage

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Judy Katz
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Chair Term June 2015 - June 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Kitty Ames At Large Member Voting
Carol Axelrod At Large Member Voting
Andrew Bott Superintendent, Public Schools of Brookline Exofficio
Julie Burkley At Large Member --
Patrick Dober Executive Director, Brookline Housing Authority Exofficio
Yama Estime High School, Student Leadership Team Exofficio
Michael Glover Brookline School Committee Exofficio
Shoma Haque Director, Steps to Success NonVoting
Jason Harris At Large Member Voting
Scot Huggins Parent Council Exofficio
Misti Jaynes Parent Council Exofficio
Judith Katz Board Chair Voting
Brit Lee At Large Member Voting
Irene Limlengco At Large Member Voting
Robert Miller At Large Member Voting
Steve Swanger At Large Member Voting
David Trietsch Commissioner, Brookline Housing Authority Exofficio
Deanne Urmy At Large Member Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Hassan Abdirahman -- --
Shaniyah Clouden -- --
Yama Estime -- --
Abby Jaynes -- --
Naomi Jaynes -- --
Salam Kasu -- --
Laura Kopotiyenko -- --
Amy Levine -- --
Sabrina Pierre -- --
Jimmy Ricks -- --
Dionna Rosa -- --
Sabrina Zhou -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 10
Male: 8
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 98%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 75%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $824,859.00
Projected Expense $770,896.00
Form 990s

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

Audit Documents

2017 Audited Financials

2016 Financial Review

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $668,982 $461,139 $1,403,257
Total Expenses $738,322 $539,728 $548,897

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $591,452 $376,774 $1,330,077
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $69,991 $84,119 $73,136
Investment Income, Net of Losses $189 $246 $44
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $7,350 -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $469,478 $370,495 $480,407
Administration Expense $157,430 $135,051 $57,955
Fundraising Expense $111,414 $34,182 $10,535
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.91 0.85 2.56
Program Expense/Total Expenses 64% 69% 88%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 19% 9% 1%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $659,924 $743,150 $894,069
Current Assets $650,808 $743,150 $894,069
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $7,485 $11,371 $39,709
Total Net Assets $652,439 $731,779 $854,360

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 12.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 86.95 65.35 22.52

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Steps to Success Inc. received its nonprofit status from the IRS in March 2016, as noted in the IRS Letter of Determine posted above. The financial summary data in the charts and graphs above for FY17 is per the audit, per the Review for FY16 and per the 990 for FY15.
Steps to Success was fiscally sponsored by Third Sector New England from July 2014 through early 2016. Prior to that time, Steps to Success was fiscally sponsored by the Brookline Community Foundation.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


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