Step Forward was created in 1993 in an effort to address the academic, cultural and social needs
of underserved and/or low-income local adolescent girls. To our knowledge, there were no formal
programs in place for girls which were comprehensive in scope and allowed girls to stay with a program
year after year.
Quest Program for boys has been in place since the summer of 2002. It is a direct response to an
expressed desire by numerous parents, local community members, schools, and agencies to initiate a
program for boys modeled on the well-established Step Forward Program.
The objectives of both the original middle school and high school programs were initiated as and
continue to be:
The success of Step Forward/ Quest lies in the fact that it is year- round and consistent; it provides
stability and clear boundaries for girls and boys; it places high intellectual and behavioral expectations
upon its scholars; it gives students a sense of identity; it encourages girls and boys to set goals and work to achieve them; and it builds a community of pride among students, their families, and other caring
Our greatest success is this: 100% of the students who have graduated from the program have gone on
to higher education and/or proprietary educations.
The summer portion of the program offered to middle school students includes a commuter fine arts
program followed by an academic program. The high school level of the program affords participants the opportunity to take college level courses during the summer. Students can earn 7-13 college credits before they actually enter college.
By providing family orientation nights, family celebration events, and evaluation meetings, the program
works creatively to develop parent and family involvement in education.
In order to receive an application to the Step Forward/Quest program you must be in 5th or 6th grade
and be recommended by your school. All students must be performing at or above grade level and
receive positive behavior marks from their teachers. Step Forward/Quest students show an interest and
willingness to learn. New students are accepted into the program in the spring of each year.