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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.

With gratitude,

Dear Friends,
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Kathryn M. Hall
Board Chair
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Dr. Jacklyn Chisholm
CEO & President

Our Officers & Directors


Board Chairperson: Kathryn M. Hall

Vice Chairperson: LaRese Purnell

Treasurer: Brian Gallagher

Secretary: Yomarie Gonzalez


Cassandra Brown-Collier

Eugenia Cash-Kirkland

Michelle Curry

Deidra Davis
Kira Hewko

Christopher Kelly
Cecil B. Lee

Michael Moore
Jerry Primm

Adam Roth

Judge Michael J. Ryan

Qianna Tidmore

Sherelle L. Tucker

Joyce L. Walker

Help us connect with residents in need and keep up to date with our services on social media.

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Leadership Team


Dr. Jacklyn Chisholm, PH.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Derek Cluse, CPA

Chief of Staff


Dr. Thea Wilson

Vice President of Children and Families


Douglass Bennett

Vice President of Community Services and External Affairs


Madeline Corchado

Vice President of Human Resources

Dr. Jacklyn Chisholm, PH.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer 

Douglass Bennett

Vice President of External Affairs 

Derek Cluse, CPA

Chief of Staff

Robert Rose

Product Designer

Dr. Thea Wilson

Vice President for Children and Families

By The Numbers


Employees serving residents in Cuyahoga County








Per Year




Cuyahoga County





Cuyahoga County


Real People


Real Stories


Real Impact

Where We Serve

Baby & Mommy Support

The pregnancy test is positive. You're excited. You're scared. But you turn to Step Forward.


Our agency's Family Development Specialists are ready to help, guide, and make sure you're ready for this next chapter of your life. Through Baby and Mommy Support, our agency offers parents one-on-one consultations, nutritional counseling, and guidance on how to navigate health insurance, choose a hospital, and finding the right doctor.

Expectant mothers learn how to cope with stress, breastfeeding, postpartum depression, and more. Step Forward also connects expectant mothers with important resources to make sure they're equipped when the baby arrives.

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Brianna Preston

Graduated from BAMS

"I loved the resources that Step Forward had to offer. Because I'm a first-time mom, it really helped me a lot!"


The 2021 & 2022 annual BAMS showers connected


expectant mothers to support services and baby items in preparation for their newborns

Photos from the 2022 BAMS Baby Shower

BAMS Shower 2022