Steppingstone Scholars Celebrates 20 years
of Commitment to Philadelphia Youth

 

We will host our Annual Gala, A Night Unplugged: Celebrating 20 Years with a special performance from Questlove.

 

The lead sponsors of the Gala are Hirtle, Callaghan & Co, Hess Foundation, Inc., and the Burke Family Foundation.

 

Since our founding, we have changed the lives of over 3,000 Philadelphia students and have had amazing support along the way. Funds raised through the Gala will help strengthen Steppingstone’s capacity to better meet the needs and dreams of our incredible Scholars and to build Philadelphia’s college and career pipeline. 

 

The Gala will recognize three individuals who have been essential to our success with Impact Awards. We are recognizing Nina Weisbord, who served as President from 2006 to 2012,with the Leadership Award for her foundational work leading Steppingstone, which is still reflected in much of our success today. Tim Spady will receive the Service Award for his leadership, commitment to others, and excellence in education as a member of the 1st class of Scholars and a Steppingstone summer faculty member for 8 years. The first ever Founder’s Stone will be presented to Eddie Mensah, who served as Steppingstones’ Director of Program for 11 years, for his defining impact on the lives of our Scholars.

Impact Awards

We recognize Nina with the Leadership Award for her foundational work leading Steppingstone, which is still reflected in much of our success today. Nina was the President of Steppingstone Scholars, Inc. from 2006 to 2012. As President, Nina led the organization to transition to independent 501c3 status, increased programmatic focus on support for college admissions, transformed and professionalized the Board of Directors, the organization’s financial health and fundraising, as well as secured the first $1 million to launch the endowment. After leaving Steppingstone to join Temple University and then Temple Health to become the Chief Advancement Officer for the health system, Nina was instrumental in fostering the connection between Steppingstone and Temple University. That connection has become a multimillion-dollar partnership focused on creating real pathways to college and workforce for students in North Philadelphia. Nina currently serves on the board of Nurturing Minds, a U.S.-based organization working to educate girls in Tanzania. She is a graduate of Ithaca College and received her master’s in Organizational Development and Leadership from John F. Kennedy University.  

NINA WEISBORD: Leadership Award

TIM SPADY: Service Award 

The Service Award recognizes Tim as the embodiment of leadership, commitment to others, and educational excellence that is an example for all of our Scholars. Tim was part of the first class of Scholars in Philadelphia and made his academic home at The Haverford School.  After graduating from Haverford, he became a teaching assistant in 2007 in Steppingstone’s summer programming and he has worked every summer since then with our Scholars. For the last 8 years, he has been the social studies teacher as a member of summer faculty. Tim’s deep commitment to being a master teacher and mentor to many cohorts of Scholars has had a profound personal impact on many students over the last 14 years. Tim’s commitment to education that he learned at Steppingstone became a life’s calling. He currently teaches social studies at El Centro de Estudiantes in Philadelphia, an alternative high school for young adults, and has done so for the past 8 years. Tim earned a bachelor’s degree from Franklin & Marshall College and a master’s degree in Organizational Development and Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University.

EDDIE MENSAH: Founders’ Stone Award

The Founder’s Stone is the highest honor that Steppingstone can award to an individual or partner. It is reserved for those who have had a defining impact on the lives of Scholars and who exemplify Steppingstone’s core mission of equality and excellence for the educationally underserved. It is fitting that the first person to receive this honor is Eddie Mensah. Eddie served for 11 years as Director of Programs for Steppingstone Scholars Inc. Eddie shaped much of the program and identity of how Steppingstone supports and cares for students. For many Scholars, his “Favorite People,” “Mr. Mensah” has changed their trajectories. He is currently Head of School at Charlotte Preparatory School in Charlotte, North Carolina. Born and raised in Ghana, Mr. Mensah holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Franklin and Marshall College and an M.S.Ed in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. 

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