Message from our
Board Chair & President
Each year, we make it a priority to highlight one theme we felt was vital to our agency throughout the past twelve months.
After a significant adjustment in how Step Forward served the community in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a long-awaited name change in 2021, we have spent the past few years 2021 and 2022 refocusing.
We spent a lot of time adapting to the new world around us, but also making sure we stayed true to the agency’s purpose in helping people attain self-sufficiency.
Throughout the past few years, Step Forward has been presented with countless opportunities to connect with Cuyahoga County residents in need. Our staff responded to each individual and family, not as employees, but as humans first. The hills we have climbed together along with the optimism Step Forward has witnessed illustrates the strength of our agency during difficult times and it proves that this organization – and the clients we serve – are nothing short of resilient.
Hence, resiliency is what we have decided to emphasize throughout this year’s annual report.
You’ll see resiliency in Brittany McKown, a single, unemployed mother, who first turned to Step Forward for help when she was pregnant and then returned for additional assistance years later.
You’ll see resiliency in Briana Cannada, who wanted to make sure she built a successful future for her children by enrolling each of them in Early Head Start and Head Start.
You’ll recognize the resiliency in Nina Davis, who in her senior years, struggled to maintain basic necessities as inflation and prices for everything increased and her social security checks remained the same.
You’ll see strength in Tracey Williams, who searched high and low for a job for eight years. He is now sharing his story, hoping to inspire someone else, after turning to our agency for assistance and finally securing a maintenance position within Step Forward.
This year, we are proud to report that Step Forward’s resiliency has allowed our programming numbers to return nearly back to normal.
Fifty-seven years in the making, we are more confident now than ever that Step Forward has a clear brand and a consistent voice going forward. As we step into 2023, we are prepared to amplify the momentum of that ongoing mission: transform lives and strengthen communities; one person, one family, one step at a time. We hope you’ll join us in doing so.
We hope you’re as excited about the future as we are.