Our Stepping Stones Coming of Age groups are enjoying their summers with adventures all around the Bay Area and beyond. Please enjoy this sweet summary from a girls group recent campout at China Camp State Park...
"What a wonderful 24 hours we spent with your girls this week!! After a short drive to China Camp, we met Leader A and Elder J at the site, and brought our stuff to camp,
settling in. The first thing we noticed was the intense heat, and no one had much energy for anything. As we settled into camp and into being together, there was also much time to connect with trees and lizards and to 'arrive', each in our own way. We had a few different basic check ins around how we were all doing, how it felt to be finished with middle school and how the year completed itself, each one allowing us to sink in with each other. It seemed like we needed that, as it had been a while since we were together. Continue reading the full adventure...
Every May we host our annual Spring Retreat for the entire internal Stepping Stones village. This means all our Leaders, Elders, Board members, Staff, Mentors and regular volunteers are all invited to spend a long weekend connecting and diving into the heart of the work we do with the Stepping Stones Project.
This year, we were blessed to be welcomed to host our retreat on the beautiful grounds of our sister organization, Leap Now. Leap Now is a rites of passage based gap year program for youth finishing or just finished with high school, seeking a guided process for that special year in between high school and whatever is next.
Our community enjoyed a full weekend amongst the oaks, bays and redwoods, ate great food, shared deeply in Council, and connected ages 25 to 75 through words play and music and dance. We also hosted an all-day Diversity & Inclusion Training with our special guests, the Mosaic Project. Mosaic Project offers immersive, experiential education programs in diversity, empathy and conflict resolution.
Thank you everyone for joining and bringing so much heart to our community, and special thanks to Leap Now and Mosaic!
If you are SSP Staff, you can view the full post & MOSAIC online resources HERE.
Dear Stepping Stones Community,
As a parent, family member, volunteer or friend of Stepping Stones, you know that SSP is both a program for youth, and a community for many. As such, when good or bad things happen, we want you to know about it. And sometimes we need to ask for your support.
We are saddened to have to tell you that Danielle Gladd, our Executive Director for the past two years, has recently taken medical leave due to a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Our community is deeply saddened. Her condition is worsening and treatment is difficult. The purpose of this letter is to update you as part of our community, regarding Danielle’s condition and what you may wish to do if you are called to help.
Naturally, we’ve received questions from leaders, parents, and friends of SSP, and we want to answer them.
Is there anything I can do to help?
As you can imagine, Danielle has encountered significant expenses in health care. At this time, we encourage anyone who feels called to make a direct contribution (large or small) to help Danielle with these expenses via the website below. A donation of any size will be very appreciated and you will be able to send comments of support for Danielle on the website as well.
Donate : https://www.youcaring.com/daniellegladd-799943
How is SSP moving forward?
We want to assure you that we are coordinating a plan to move forward. Our Board has named Emily Frost, who has been working with Stepping Stones for the past 3.5 years, as our new Executive Director. Emily is very experienced with the elements of operation in Stepping Stones and will be working through the summer to guide staff and continue with important processes such as group starts, leader hiring, and many other critical items. We are confident in her ability to serve as a caring and effective ED in this transition.
Other staff members (Madhavi, Shena, Laurie, and Laura) will be picking up some of the task areas as well. Meanwhile, the Board, along with key members across our organization, are initiating succession planning as appropriate. We have increased hours for staff to make sure that administratively we are meeting our many program tasks.
We appreciate your patience during this time of transition. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns. SSP is a wonderful community of caring people engaging their skills and hearts to help youth in a challenging world, one we all share. We appreciate your care and concern during this time.
Stepping Stones Project (SSP) is celebrating its 15th year as a 501(c)(3) organization serving youth and families in the Bay Area. We are seeking a new Executive Director who is a passionate, committed and self-motivated leader whose life purpose is deeply aligned with our mission and values.
SSP's Mission: Guide and support youth through long term mentoring and contemporary rites of passage.
Our Vision: Support generations of authentic, integrated human beings committed to healthy, heartfelt relationships with self, friends, family, community and nature.
Our Goals & Commitments:
Stepping Stones Project will be accepting applications to the Executive Director position now until *** JULY 19th ***
Please carefully review the attached documents for the full position description, and all important application information.
The Stepping Stones Team
We were very lucky this Spring to host our 1st ever long awaited intergenerational panel event. We shared dialogue about the following themes:
Thank you to all our speakers: Emily Frost, Laurie Margaritonda, Skylar Wilson, Jeffrey Sgilagyi, Marilyn Hendee & 3 SSP Alumni youth now in high school and college.
You can make a donation towards this recording and future events like it HERE.
Congratulations to all our Coming of Age groups who completed their Marking Ceremonies this Fall and Winter of 2016. We are so proud of all the incredible work you put in, inside and out, to be part of the Stepping Stones program.
Thank you to all the parents and families, Leaders and Elders, who guided and stuck with the process. We feel so lucky many of the families have decided to join our continuing program and will meet with their Leaders well into high school. (more photos & stories...)
Stepping Stones Project has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide.
Occurring this year on November 29, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) to kick-off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.
In order to make SSP accessible to more families in the Bay Area, we are focusing this year’s effort on supporting SSP’s Tuition Assistance Program. This past year, SSP awarded nearly $40,000 in financial assistance. Please remember us during this time of thanksgiving and give ‘til it feels good’.
Gratitude for the wholehearted prayers of the inspired Stepping Stones community this weekend at our Fall Retreat. Thank you to all our people for being part of this beloved community. Thank you those who offered their open hearts and helpful hands. Well wishes to those who could not attend, your presence was missed.
Many of us gathered this weekend to tend the hearth of our Stepping Stones village, sending prayers out for the waters, for all life. We honored our lineage in the way we held each other this weekend, in Council, in song, in story, in laughter and tears... at the ocean's edge in the wind and pouring rain!!! So awesome :)
Warm wishes to everyone over the holidays,
Thank you to our fabulous speaker, Mary Reynolds Thompson, for a gorgeous evening exploring her unique mandala of the inner and outer worlds. Thank you to all our guests and donors who honored us with your presence and generosity, and to our co-sponsors, Copperfield's Books and Sustainable San Rafael. It is such a gift to have so many allies in our community. Warmth and gratitude to you as the seasons turn. Hope to see you again soon!
Find more about Mary's work: www.maryreynoldsthompson.com, www.writethedamnbook.com
"The earth's landscapes are our ancestors. Their wisdom resides within us, waiting to be awakened."
~ We invite you to make a DONATION to the Stepping Stones Project as a thank you for this recording ~
Special thanks to all our families, leaders, elders and community members who blessed us with your presence, skills and bright open hearts at our annual Village Daylong!
(click on photos in following album to enlarge)
We started our day Saturday morning at the beautiful Stafford Lake Park in Novato...
Stepping Stones Project
SSP guides and supports youth through long term mentoring & contemporary rites of passage.
(see full Calendar here)
8/5: Spirits by the Sea 15th Anniversary Fundraiser
@ Stinson Beach CA