Monday, 10 July 2017 07:28

Montgomery S.T.E.P. Foundation: Strategies to Elevate People

Written by  Ashley Sherlock
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“I got involved with S.T.E.P. several years ago by volunteering as a college student to help with outreach events. I must say, I feel as passionate about the mission of S.T.E.P. today as I did in my college years.”  


Sederick Fluker is the current director of

Montgomery S.T.E.P. (Strategies to Elevate

People) Foundation. Established in 1986, this faith-centered nonprofit organization has

successfully impacted the inner city missions of Montgomery for more than 30 years.


With the help of its church partnerships, S.T.E.P. has developed a framework for individuals and churches to work hand-in-hand to fulfill the needs of those living in at-risk communities. This framework became the “strategies” used to elevate people. There are now six strategies used by the S.T.E.P. staff and volunteers: Evangelism, Dream Girls Unlimited, Boys to Me Unlimited, Summer Enrichment Program, Tutorial Program and Violence Prevention Program.

Montgomery S.T.E.P. Foundation is a faith-based organization where the number one goal is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through church partnerships and its own endeavors, S.T.E.P. shares the Gospel using storybooks and artistic expressions such as music and drama.


Dream Girls Unlimited and Boys to Men Unlimited are “success-mentoring” programs for boys and girls between the ages of 9-16 to acquire life skills, discover various careers, and receive training on various topics from positive women in the community. The mission of this program is to empower and inspire girls to become exceptional young ladies that lead healthy and productive lives by utilizing their talents for the good of themselves and their communities. The program includes guest speakers, entrepreneurship training, and field trips to local businesses or organizations that offer their time and services to support the S.T.E.P. mission. Sederick said there are plans to expand the Dream Girls program this fall by adding a program coordinator to the S.T.E.P. staff in order to be able to impact more at-risk girls.


Also in the future, Sederick hopes to expand their services to be able to help any child that needs help. S.T.E.P. does not screen the children who come through the programs and all of the programs are 100% free. While there isn’t a housing community in Montgomery that hasn’t been impacted by S.T.E.P., Sederick still wants to be available to everyone.


Since it’s beginning, S.T.E.P. has impacted so many people that it has become difficult to keep track of them all. Sederick said the programs are more extensive than even he realizes, and in the future he’d like to come up with a way to keep better track of the kids that go through the programs.


One thing that counts both as something Sederick wants to work on for the future of S.T.E.P. and a S.T.E.P. success story is the way that this ministry connects people. S.T.E.P. has already shared its model with those who have wanted to start ministries in their own communities, but didn’t know how. Sederick wants S.T.E.P. to continue to be the type of ministry that paves the way for other organizations to provide their services. He loves connecting those who need help with those who can provide the help.


“Oh, there are so many,” Sederick said about his favorite S.T.E.P. success stories. “We’re noticing multiple testimonies from children who were in the S.T.E.P. programs who are now adults successfully contributing to the Montgomery community, and they’re giving S.T.E.P. the credit for that.”


“It almost seems weekly now that I encounter someone who has a ’S.T.E.P. Story.’ Whether that individual volunteered with S.T.E.P. or was a beneficiary of one of our programs, there’s always a light of joy in their faces as they tell stories of their involvement with S.T.E.P.”


The 2016-2017 school year was a banner year for S.T.E.P. It was awarded Community Partners of the Year by Progressive Academy for Creative Education for its Boys to Men Unlimited and Dreams Girls Unlimited programs on campus. A recent independent professional evaluation showed that S.T.E.P. had reduced the number of office referrals from at-risk youth at school. And in the 2016-2017 school year, the number of children on the verge of getting suspended in the first semester significantly decreased in the second semester because of the S.T.E.P. programs.


One former S.T.E.P. student, who is now a manager at a Montgomery restaurant, contacted Sederick to see if she could volunteer to speak at Dream Girls Unlimited. She wanted to give the girls who are currently in the program what S.T.E.P. gave her...hope.


Sederick believes it is important to note that summer can be a time of idleness, causing children to fall into bad behavior. S.T.E.P. is one of the very few organizations that offer summer daytime programs in Montgomery. This summer, they have even been working on transforming empty community centers into places for

summer enrichment.


To learn more about Montgomery S.T.E.P. Foundation and volunteer opportunities, visit or find them on Facebook as Montgomery STEP Foundation. You can also make donations payable to Montgomery S.T.E.P. Foundation and send to P.O. Box 193, Montgomery, AL, 36101.


A Florida native, Ashley Sherlock made the transition to Alabama to pursue a degree in English. She has a passion for the written word, an affinity for the outdoors, a love for people, and a desire for the Lord.



Last modified on Monday, 10 July 2017 14:41
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