• Step Up helps 9th through 12th graders transition to and through their high school careers. Every year, Step Up keeps over 400 amazing kids in school and thriving academically at three Portland Public high schools: Roosevelt, Madison, and Franklin. 

      Our students are personally supported by a Step Up Advocate all year through comprehensive tutoring, strength-based advocacy, emotional support, character-building workshops, and family engagement activities.

      Step Up Advocates challenges youth to identify their aspirations in a 3-day summer leadership academy and commit to working together towards those goals. Leadership and team-building activities reinforce students’ understanding of their capacity to achieve their dreams through education and hard work, all with the support of an Advocate. 

      These self-defined goals form the basis for their participation in Step Up throughout the following year. By the end of camp, students and their Advocates have developed close relationships based on a mutual commitment to success in high school.

      Step Up Advocates partner with the school to offer after-school tutoring from 3:30 to 5:30 pm- Monday through Thursday, continued leadership development, and close social/emotional support in small “Advocate groups” of around 15 Step Up youth. 

      Students work closely with their advocate/mentor, who engages with parents to share student progress and provide holistic support. In addition, Step Up partners with teachers and school staff to support student’s academic growth. At the end of the year, students receive one elective credit for participating in Step Up.