Eye On Education: Steppingstone Foundation Celebrates 25 Years Helping Boston Kids

BOSTON (CBS) — For 25 years, The Steppingstone Foundation has been there for Boston kids who need their help the most to succeed in school and get into college.

Muram Bacare has come a long way. Today, she’s a senior at Boston Latin School, waiting to hear from colleges.

Muram Bacare (WBZ-TV)

Muram Bacare (WBZ-TV)

Her family moved to Boston from Sudan in the 1990s.

“Education is what they came to America for,” Bacare told WBZ-TV. “They were seeking a better education not only for themselves, but when they had my brother and me they wanted us to go to great schools and (have) great college experiences and just become intellectual people.”

Like her brother, the aspiring architect believes she took the first steps to her academic success through the assistance of the nonprofit organization in Boston.

“He was part of the Steppingstone Foundation and after he commenced, I immediately applied for Steppingstone too,” Bacare says.

The foundation’s goal is to help city kids gain access to one of the exam schools such as Boston Latin or a private school. In Steppingstone’s first year, they had 14 students, but now they help about 1,600 each year.

The privately-funded organization provides support for students who wouldn’t get it otherwise, including kids in middle school through college.

“The first thing they instilled in us at Steppingstone was commitment,” Bacare says.

Khue Nguyen, a graduate of Steppingstone and Harvard University, praised Bacare’s dedication to education. He works as a support services associate for Steppingstone.

“I think she is a very smart, very passionate student, and I know wherever she ends up she’s going to do great things in the future,” Nguyen told WBZ.

And when she’s an artchitect, Bacare says her inspiration will be gratitude for those who helped build her life.

“It makes me so happy to know that someone who doesn’t even know me is putting in all the money to have the opportunities that I have,” she told WBZ. “That is another motivating factor for me to achieve probably the highest level of success that I can.”

She has applied to several colleges, including MIT.

If you have an idea for an Eye on Education story, email eyeoneducation@cbs.com or tweet Paula Ebben @PaulaEbbenWBZ.

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