Student Impact

“KIPP STEP prepared me for high school by enhancing my writing skills. Writing is a big part of high school, I quickly learned this past month at Deerfield. In KIPP STEP your English teacher will spend an hour everyday just to improve your writing and teach you how to become better writers. That experience helped me so much, and I always think back to it when I need to write something.”

–Cynthia Lugo, KIPP STEP alumna, current Deerfield student

“I learned that working hard can get you to anywhere you want to go. I also learned that it is important to always carry yourself with dignity and to always represent yourself and your school well… I also learned that it is better to reach out to other people instead of waiting for them to reach out to you. It is important to just throw yourself out there sometimes and try new things.”

–Jackie Morrissey, KIPP STEP alumna, current Deerfield student

“…the biggest benefit is confidence.  She is very smart and shy, and she needs to push herself to participate.  Being in an environment like STEP has helped her feel more comfortable as a gifted and talented student, and she is much more comfortable advocating about her needs with me.  She is now smart AND proud of how smart and hard-working she is.”

–KIPP School Counselor regarding a 2016 KIPP STEP participant

“Both of my students have come back with a stronger sense of maturity and independence since both of them had not really ever been away from home or their families ever before.

They seem more confident about themselves and yet at the same time, more humble.”

–KIPP school liaison

“<Her> tone, level of maturity, and demeanor all suggest that she has come away from the KIPP STEP program with a more worldly understanding of the rigor and requirements of a prep school environment. She carries herself with dignity and has earned the responsibility of being part of our student leadership program in the 8th grade.”

–KIPP school liaison

“Because of the KIPP STEP program I have also brought back an education from some of the greatest teachers I have ever met. Since the program, I have shared what I learned with my parents, grandparents, Aunt, Uncle, and my younger cousins. An example of this is that before, physics and I had never agreed. Now I understand parts of it, and can enjoy it and teach others.”

–2016 KIPP STEP alumna


Staff Testimonials

“The most important thing that made me want to come back as a proctor is the bond between a proctor and a student. Proctors are the closest thing to current KIPP STEP students. We spend most of our day with them and with them more than anyone else. Therefore, that makes it easier to create trust and bonds that really make someone feel good inside. I’m glad I came back and am able to have students confide in me about a situation or look to me for help when they are in need. These interactions are the best part of the job!”

-Blessing Utomi, KIPP STEP alumnus, KIPP STEP proctor


“I couldn’t think of how to best summarize a life changing summer of personal and professional growth and development, so I summed it up with one word: magic.”

-Libby Gronquist, KIPP STEP 2016 ELA Teacher, KIPP Sol Academy Founding Teacher

To read more of Libby’s experience from KIPP STEP 2016, click here.


“Come to KIPP STEP.  It has been the best thing for my teaching that I could have possibly done.”

-Stephanie Hinton, KIPP STEP ELA Teacher, KIPP

To hear more of Stephanie’s reflections regarding the program, click here.