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You are here: Home Section Table Good Work STEP Works Its Magic on 56th Alumnus, Fred Smith
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STEP Works Its Magic on 56th Alumnus, Fred Smith

DSC03254The celebration for Fred Smith’s graduation from Scarsdale High School was not your average graduation party. Members of the Scarsdale STEP Board, friends and family gathered Tuesday, June 25th at the home of Lisa and Andy Rodman to honor Fred as both a member of the SHS class of 2019 and as the 56th alumnus of Scarsdale STEP. The STEP program has brought promising students of color from economically disadvantaged households to Scarsdale High School for their junior and senior years since 1966.

(Indiya Smith, Derick Rivers, Catina Smith and Fred Smith.)


DSC03258There were more than a few tears in the group of roughly 40 well wishers as Fred reflected on his two years in Scarsdale. “ You need to understand I come from a place of little opportunity” Smith noted, “but STEP has worked its magic.” He noted that with heavy doses of emotional and financial support, along with lots of tutoring and college application help, he leaves feeling “that STEP really, truly is a family”. Smith will be attending Center College in Danville Kentucky on full scholarship next fall.

Gail and Todd Leone of Barry Roa hosted Fred his senior year and Marissa and Julio Gurdian of Boulder Brook Road hosted him during his junior year. Fred thanked those “graceful enough to open their home to me. ” Of the Leones, Fred noted, “you don’t know a big family who loves each other a lot until you know the Leone family”. He thanked them for helping him reevaluate himself and prodding him to continually improve.

DSC03260Kathy Steves, Elizabeth Pflaum and Susan GronerFred’s mother, stepfather and sister traveled to Scarsdale for graduation festivities from their hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Fred’s tender words to his mother Catina struck a deep emotional chord. “Thank God, you were strong enough to let me go after only DSC03257Fred Smith, Anna Decker and Roderick Carrtwo years of high school” he said to his mother. “When I’m a parent, I don’t know if I could do that.”

Scarsdale STEP is urgently seeking a host family for its incoming junior Victoria Reliford from rural North Carolina this fall. Interested families are urged to visit the Scarsdale STEP website, email info@scarsdalestep.org or call Nan Berke at 914-548-3617.

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