The story begins in the late 1980’s. Devastated by the arrival of crack cocaine, Washington, DC was our nation’s “Murder Capital.” Growing up at the epicenter of this violence – in southeast DC – 67 rising seventh graders attending one of the worst schools in the nation were promised college scholarships by area businessman Stewart Bainum through the I Have a Dream program. It was a simple premise: graduate from high school and receive a college scholarship.
The students were all living in poverty. Hiding in the bathtub to avoid a stray bullet was commonplace. All of the kids witnessed homicides and addiction, and many of their families were destroyed by it. How do you make the dream of college attainable to a kid who doesn’t expect to live to his twentieth birthday?
Steve leads work to ensure students access and maximize college and career opportunities. As head of the College and Career Access division at the College Board, Steve oversees enrollment and financial aid programs, the Access to Opportunity™ initiative, and scholarship programs. Additionally, he oversees the partnership with Khan Academy to provide free, high quality SAT preparation for students, as well as the partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. These efforts are designed to increase college readiness and college completion for all students, with a special focus on lower-income students, first-generation college students, and students of color.
Steve is passionate about expanding access, equity, and excellence. A former classroom teacher, he led the CityBridge Foundation’s Breakthrough Schools: D.C. competition, which works with public schools to increase achievement through challenging, personalized learning. Prior to CityBridge, Steve served as president of the ECMC Foundation and led development for its education portfolio. Steve also championed efforts to improve education, health, and food security in lower-income communities as the first executive director of the Specialty Family Foundation.
Steve earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his MBA from Stanford University. When he isn’t working or mentoring, Steve can be found spending time with his two sons.