S.T.E.P.S. is a 501(c)3 non-profit, founded in 2008 to help adolescent girls in Groton succeed through training, intervention and mentoring. S.T.E.P.S. stands for Striving Toward Empowered Personal Success, and our mission is to empower girls and uplift communities by providing adolescent girls ages 10-18 years the tools necessary to build lives of integrity and self-sufficiency through positive choice. We mentor girls through our self-efficacy, self-esteem and leadership workshops, events and programs throughout the year.
S.T.E.P.S. began as a grassroots effort when our founders, a group of local women, decided to make a difference in the lives of teen girls in their community. They saw the societal, social, and peer pressures being placed on girls, many of whom were also without the support systems and resources they needed to survive and thrive, and our founders were compelled to act. They harnessed their expertise, resources and professional connections to develop a program that enables adolescent girls to reach their full potential.
S.T.E.P.S.’ after-school curriculum (Project4Success in middle school and Ready4theWorld in high school) is founded on the concept of fostering the wellness of the "whole girl" and increasing self-efficacy, self-esteem and leadership within our participants. Our first middle school program began in 2008 in Groton, and the Groton high school program began in 2009. In 2010 an additional middle school program was added in New London, and the program has expanded ever since. In 2018, we extended our programming to 6th graders so the young women in S.T.E.P.S. would have the option to participate in our programs for seven consecutive years. We currently have programs in Groton, New London and Norwich. Since its inception, over a thousand young women have benefited from our programs at S.T.E.P.S.