A college education changes a person’s life. We believe that where you come from does not determine where you can go. With a success rate of more than 80% of our graduates earning a college degree, we know we are propelling progress. Building STEPS works with Baltimore’s brightest high school students, most of whom will be the first in their family to graduate from college, to unlock their potential. As a Baltimore based not for profit, we provide a breadth of programming to ensure college completion and career success, all through a STEM lens. We empower students to realize their potential and achieve success.

Mission: We equip our city’s brightest students with the tools to propel them to college and career success.

Building STEPS, originally an internship program, was founded in 1995 in Washington, DC, by Matthew Weinberg, CEO of The Weinberg Group. To better fulfill his vision to help minority high school students become science and technology professionals, he relocated the organization to Baltimore in 2000.

Thank you to the Weinberg Group for providing the foundation which allows Building STEPS to propel students to their college and career success.

History >

Staff Members

Asia Cole


Jennifer Descoteau

Development Associate

Courtney Haddaway

Associate Program Director, High School Engagement

Debra E. Hettleman

Chief Executive Officer

Sheyna Mikeal

Associate Program Director, College Success

Leah Pemberton

Chief Program Officer

Board of Directors

Gregory Kelly, PhD

Chair, Building STEPS and Senior Vice President, SoBran, Inc.

Jamie Watt Arnold

Senior Vice President, Profiles, Inc.

Richard Edlow, O.D.

Senior Advisor, Katzen Eye Group/EyeCare Services Partners, LLC

Charles D. English

Vice President, PNC Real Estate

Stuart D. Kaplow

Attorney, Stuart D. Kaplow, P.A.

Candace Breland Osunsade

Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff, National Aquarium

Kieara Thomas, CSM, CSPO

Operations Support Specialist III, PayPal Credit

David A. Vanko, PhD

Dean, The Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science & Mathematics, Towson University

Matthew R. Weinberg

Founder and Chair Emeritus, Building STEPS and CEO, The Weinberg Group

We empower our city’s students to realize their potential and achieve success. More than 80% of our program graduates earn a college degree.

Your support changes lives. Building STEPS is offered at no charge. Your support creates this opportunity for students to achieve college and career success.

Our amazing volunteers share their breadth of expertise with our students, offering a variety of skillsets and experience. This additional support is critical to our students’ success.