Debra, a Baltimore area native, launched Building STEPS in 1999 with the sole purpose of creating a college pathway for underrepresented students to become STEM professionals. Today, she develops and maintains corporate and institutional partners, works with the Board to create and implement growth strategies, and oversees all aspects of the organization. Prior to Building STEPS, she was the principal of The Morlan Group, LLC, providing redevelopment consulting services throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a 2012 graduate of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s The Leadership and in 2016, Debra was honored by the Baltimore Business Journal as Maryland’s Top 100 Women.
As Administrative Associate, Jennifer Descoteau is integral to all aspects of our organization. With a breath of experience, Jen is engaged in donor cultivation and Board development. Skilled in marketing, social media, and customer service, Jen brings a new level of expertise to Building STEPS. A graduate of Towson University, Jen spends her spare time with her husband and two teenage children.
Asia Cole is a Speech Pathology major studying at Towson University. As a Building STEPS high school student, she attended Digital Harbor High School and graduated in 2014. Her goal is to become a Speech Pathologist working with both the Deaf and hearing communities. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity and Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority where she exemplifies the values of service, unity, and integrity. On the weekends, she loves to watch and go see Broadway musicals when possible. She also enjoys reading and writing poetry, bowling, and kayaking when the weather is nice.
Sheyna Mikeal was born and raised in Baltimore City where she attended Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology and a Masters in School Counseling, she went to New York and taught Algebra and Geometry. Returning to school, she earned a Master’s in Teacher of Students with Disabilities and continued her work in Detroit as a school counselor. Since college, Sheyna has always known that she wanted to work in education with a focus on college completion for underrepresented students.
Leah joined Building STEPS in 2009, responsible for program design and implementation. Today, she manages all aspects of programming, including developing curriculum. She is the lead on special projects, including the oversight of a designated college scholarship. Leah’s background as a Program Data Coordinator for Teach for America and an Academic Advisor for University of Maryland University College set in motion her expertise with college access and completion. She received a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies from James Madison University.
Focusing primarily on our high school students, Courtney plans, implements and oversees all aspects of the Junior Seminars, Internship Workshops and College Workshops. Joining Building STEPS in 2016, she is instrumental in ensuring that each high school senior prepares and completes their college and financial aid applications. As a former teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools and Team Leader for Youthworks, Courtney is uniquely qualified to create exposure and prepare our students for college success. She graduated from Loyola University Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in Writing.