Step Up is a nonprofit membership organization now in its 15th year igniting women and girls to fulfill their potential by:
- creating and implementing impactful after-school and weekend programs that empower teens from under-resourced communities to be confident, college-bound, and career-ready
- propelling professional women through connections, collaborations, and continuous development
- inspiring our network to invest in the future success of girls through mentorship and financial support
This year Shine and Dine took place at the River East Arts Center, an absolutely gorgeous indoor and outdoor venue right on the river. The 700-guest evening raised $180,000 for the organization’s after-school programs that mentor teen girls from under-resourced communities.
Something I noticed this year that was different from last year was that many of the girls participating in the program were much more involved with the attendees. My sister and I had a chance to talk with three or four girls and learn more about their hopes and dreams for college and what they’d like to do as a career. In the last four years, 100% of Step Up seniors nationally have graduated high school and been accepted to college. We were both inspired by the whole event, and my sister is even looking into joining the mentorship program!
Of course one of the biggest highlights of the evening as a food blogger was the “dine” aspect of the event where I got to try dishes from several top chefs and restaurants in Chicago!