STUDENT STORIES

Beginning in 4th grade and continuing through college, Steps to Success students commit to collaborating with us to ensure that their path to academic and personal growth is successful. Steps to Success is proud of our students and their school experiences. Click on photos below to read the stories of a few of our students and get to know some of these special young people!

Yuri Zaitsev and his family immigrated to Brookline when he was young. Although his family did not have many resources, Yuri was able to aspire and achieve many goals he set forth because of the support system he had around him. After graduating from Brookline High School, Yuri attended Northeastern University. Steps to Success helped Yuri become confident in his own abilities and advocate for him to receive scholarships that he needed to be able to attend Northeastern.

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So when it came time to apply, Yuri had no doubt in his mind that he would be accepted because of all the resources which STS had provided. He was able to graduate with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and Physics. Working with STS, Yuri also got a lot of experience in helping others and today he uses that experience to create medical implants to replace bone for people who need orthopedic surgery. “In the future, I would love to be conducting my own research in the medical industry, and making life a little easier for everyone.”

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Yama Estime is currently a senior at Brookline High School. She currently holds the position of Co-Captain for the Steps to Success Leadership Team. She became a part of Steps to Success when she was in the fourth grade and continuously took any opportunity to volunteer whenever STS was hosting an event. She’s participated in STS community service projects, activities, fundraisers, etc.

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Yama’s mother and sisters have been influential in shaping the person she is today, “I love my family as much as they love me.” Her goal is to make them proud by showcasing her leadership skills. She wants to be a role model to others and wants to reflect her family well.
Yama believes that Steps to Success has helped her to excel in high school by allowing for a transparent relationship between the students and the staff. She believes that the voice of students need to be heard, “I think it's very important that each student in Steps have a right to say something, because we are the students that make up the future, so just saying one small thing, it can be a big thing later on in life.”
Her advice for all the students in Steps to Success is that they should work hard to achieve what they want in life because one never knows what opportunity will change their life.

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Gavin Hui is currently a junior attending Boston University. He is majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Organization Behavior and is minoring in Sociology. He plans to pursue a career in human resources and in the nonprofit sector. Gavin chose to study business because he believes he can make a great impact on society by changing the corruption, lack of diversity, and social norms within the business industry. He taps into his passion for sociology by wanting to reform the business world’s environment by facilitating a culture of acceptance; with the ultimate goal of making the world a better place. “If I did any other major, I don’t think any of my aspirations could occur.”

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Gavin believes that without Steps to Success, he wouldn’t be where he is today; that he would not be attending BU on a full ride and that he would not have a life filled with mentors that support and believe in him, “I contribute many of my success to being able to be a part of Steps.”
STS made it possible for Gavin to experience new things like his sixth grade camping trip, volunteer activities, and jobs. Every year, he was able to get free books and school supplies instead of reusing supplies. All of these resources contributed to, what Gavin says are his best characteristics -determination and morality-helping him be accepted at Boston University.
In two years, Gavin hopes to graduate from Boston University and then obtain an internship or job.

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Karina Da Rosa is currently a junior at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
She is enrolled in NEU's Bouvé College of Health Sciences' Nursing program. Being able to inspire, motivate and assist a person to reach their full potential is something she is determined to do. “From a very young age I recognized that the ability to make change in another person's life was not only rewarding but also necessary.”

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Karina’s tremendous successes have not only come from her own enthusiasm and drive, but also from the support system she has behind her - including her family, her friends and the organizations she is a part of. Her family has been the foundation of who she is, and that foundation continues to solidify as she learns more about herself and about the world around her.
Growing up in Brookline, Karina had access to one of the most amazing school systems Massachusetts has to offer. As a result, Karina has been able to participate in some of the top programs provided; the network of resources Karina has in this city has only become more extensive over the years. Karina is certain that Steps to Success has been one of the most influential organizations in her life. She became a part of the organization in the fourth grade. From then on,she has been able to sit on the Board of Directors, speak at national conferences, hold internships, and meet leaders she would have not otherwise. For that, Karina is eternally grateful to STS.
“I am extremely proud of where I started, where I am now, and where I am going to go. In addition, I am excited for that same support system [STS] to watch me get there!”

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