Steps to Success, a Brookline nonprofit educational organization of vital importance to the welfare of our community, will be holding their annual “Step up for our Stars” Gala on May 10 at 6 pm. The event will take place at the Dexter-Southfield Clay Observatory. Founded in 2001 to address the unequal academic outcomes of students living in Brookline’s public housing, Steps provides individualized academic support and comprehensive services.

This year’s gala will be an evening of celebration highlighting STS students’ accomplishments and raise necessary funds critical to Steps to Success, Inc. and its young people.

Steps provide a range of programming for students who live in the Brookline Housing Authority and attend the Public Schools of Brookline. Starting in grade 4, Steps seeks to enable students to not only graduate, but to also thrive academically in high school, matriculate in college, and obtain their college degree.

“After only two or three years volunteering for Steps to Success, I found myself leading its Development Committee and a member of its Board,” said Brit Lee, a member of the STS Board of Directors, explained her history with the organization. “Like most of us involved with Steps to Success, once I learned about this program and saw its impact, I couldn’t NOT be a part of it.”

“Though we have a beautiful partnership with the Brookline Housing Authority and Brookline Public Schools, we are still dependent on corporate and private donations to provide tutors, camp experiences, jobs, and other opportunities that are readily accessible to their more affluent peers,” Lee continued. “I truly believe that anyone living in Brookline who has a few extra dollars or hours at the end of the month should consider supporting Steps to Success… in any capacity. These are our children in our community, and together we can make certain that all of them have a path to their best future.”

These are our children, and this is our community.

As one of many testaments to the great work done by the organization, many Steps to Success students have earned awards at the Brookline Youth Awards over the years. Three out of the first 6 Brookline Youth of the Year recipients have been members of Steps. 2011 Brookline Youth of the Year and the first Steps student to attend law school, Lesly Suriel Guererro, will be Keynote Speaker at the 7th Brookline Youth Awards. Guererro’s parents, Altagracia and Mariano Guererro, will be recipients of the Parent of the Year Award. Current students, Yama Estime, Hassan Abdiraham, Jimmy Ricks and Salam Kasu, will also be honored.

I hope you will attend the “Step up for our Stars” Gala and support our young people.

This year, the gala will feature a raffle, silent auction and a presentation from guest speaker Dale Russakoff, renowned author of The Prize: Who’s In Charge of America’s Schools.

Tickets for the event will be available at the door for $125. Tickets can also be purchased individually or in packages in advance. For more information, please contact or visit the website at


R. Harvey Bravman