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Steppingstone Scholars

"The best of both worlds...."


Education is the great equalizer,” wrote Horace Mann, and since 1999 Steppingstone Scholars has been giving hundreds of educationally underserved students in Philadelphia unique academic opportunities that are preparing them for college.

Working from offices in the heart of Manayunk, Steppingstone Scholars staff and volunteers believe that regardless of circumstances, children can achieve at a superior level if they’re given the support and tools they need to succeed. Their program has experienced remarkable success.

Scholars are nominated to the program in the 4th grade. They then participate in an intensive 14-month schedule of academic preparation and placement in 30 of the most prestigious college prep schools in the Philadelphia region. Support services such as tutoring, mentoring, summer enrichment classes, financial aid advice, and SAT preparation are provided for the Scholars as they continue on through the 12th grade. The program engages not only the students but also their families and the partner schools to ensure a comprehensive approach to education. Some 87% of the scholars have gone on to four-year colleges.

There are challenges managing the accounting and bookkeeping for such a complex program, but the organization isn’t large enough yet to warrant hiring a full-time employee for this work. Several years ago, a member of the Board of Directors suggested looking into an outsourcing solution, and the partnership with Your Part-Time Controller was born.

Today, YPTC Associate Corey Blum comes in one or two days a week. “We love Corey,” says Steppingstone Scholars President Nina Weisbord. “He’s never allowed to leave!”

Weisbord is enthusiastic about the arrangement. “We think Your Part-Time Controller is great. They act as our CFO. We’re small enough that we don’t need someone full-time but we do need someone to do the work of a full-time person. Our accounting and bookkeeping needs require the skills of a very high-level person but with less time than we can dedicate to this.

“Your Part-Time Controller is a good fit for us. They make it really easy. They’re not part of our staff but they fit in really well. Outsourcing gives us the opportunity to have a higher-level person,” says Weisbord. “It allows us to have the best of both worlds.”

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