From cutting-edge STEM enrichment to seminars on applying to college to university partnerships, Ventures prepares students for productive, fulfilling futures after high school while serving as an innovation hub for exciting, new, and better ways to support Philadelphia students who deserve access to our educational and social mobility engine.
We have developed a close working relationship with the Philadelphia Youth Network for our “enrichmentships” which provide stipends for all academic and career exposure programs that serve 8th – 12th graders. These “enrichmentships” serve to incentivize participation among Scholars who are from low-income households and leads to greater retention of Scholars across all programs.
Steppingstone also creates paid internship opportunities for 11th and 12th graders to further support career experience and exposure. More than 270 Scholars participate in paid internships with key partners including Pennovation Center, which supports biotech startups, Comcast, Philadelphia Housing Authority and Temple Health.
With the University of Pennsylvania, Steppingstone offers year-round, college level, multidisciplinary enrichment courses in which students use Arduino based robotics and coding and apply advanced Math and Science concepts and design thinking to complex problem solving. Through this program students can attain computer science certifications, allowing them to prepare for college or career in STEM fields. Spaces in the program are reserved for qualified students from partner high schools.
Carver High School ‘21, Harvard University ‘25
“Pre-professional programs are really difficult to find in public schools, so many students don’t have the resources to explore what they’re really interested in. It’s helpful to have programs like Steppingstone that encourage students to follow their interests, or figure them out.”
Inveniam is a first-of-its-kind STEM Equity and Innovation Lab launched with Penn Engineering. By providing free access to educational programming in computer science for socioeconomically underserved and underrepresented students from Philadelphia, Inveniam aims to create a pathway to Penn Engineering and beyond, into the technology careers that will define the 21st century.
Working with the University of Pennsylvania, Steppingstone has brought its “How to Apply to College” program online as a MOOC offered by Penn Admissions through Coursera. Taught by Steppingstone Executive Director, Dr. Sean Vereen, this program is offered to more than 14,000 rising seniors in theSchool District of Philadelphia public, charter, and alternative schools.
The ongoing work of Ventures is to create, identify and execute bold, innovative ideas with partners who are not only committed to enhancing educational and professional opportunities for our Scholars but also dismantling the systemic barriers that have held back talented but low-income students from achieving their full potential.
As part of our commitment to STEM, which represents professional fields in which women, African Americans and Latinos are underrepresented, Steppingstone has a thriving robotics program, engaging students from 6th – 12th grade, with our high school Scholars taking this work to the next level. For a better sense of how robotics is helping create another pathway to college and the workforce, check out this video.
If you would like to join us in this work or discuss how your organization can provide opportunities to our Scholars through internships or other initiatives, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.