Our mission is to serve the communities of the Santa Clara Valley by providing a safe environment for 13-19 year olds and preparing informed, empowered youth who are equipped with the tools to lead; cultivate cultural awareness; bridge the gaps of inequality; and advocate for fair, just and healthy individuals and community.
Below are some comments from One Step Alumni:
"Believe it or not, when I first arrived at One Step, I was a shy, timid, introverted teen who would have never spoken up about the values I believed in for fear of causing conflict. Thanks to One Step, I’ve blossomed into a social justice oriented person this world could use more of. I may be an introverted teen, but I have developed a voice where there was a whisper prior. By building a supportive infrastructure and getting a feel for the people in my town, I have a greater sense of humanity and humility from where I come from. I am proud to be from Fillmore. I am proud to be a One Stepper."
"They are more then just helping juveniles on probation. There are various students from different social groups that get together and to help our community, go on field trips, and make strong professional connections that help us with our future careers and lives."
"It is one of the safest places you will ever step in. It truly is a family and a place where you will be honored regardless of sexual orientation and or gender identity. It doesn't matter what background you come from, you will be treated like family and welcomed like family even if you are new. It is a place of growth and opportunity, a place to express yourself without judgement, a place where you can be mentored and taught new things. The One Step is just a beautiful place and everyone deserves to have a place like the One Step."
"Its one of the very few places in Fillmore where youth of color can learn, grown and create real change in our community."
"The One Step has changed my life for a fact. The staff there has always been awesome and always had a shoulder for you. There was a mentor that was the best mentor he always had your back and listened to what you had to say. Even acted on actions for you that you were to afraid to act upon."
When we asked alumni what the One Step helped them learn, here are a few of their responses:
I am an amazing person.
I'm able to do a lot more than I originally thought.
How to properly acknowledge that what I had gone through was not okay, but that I would be okay in the future. One Step taught me that my voice was not silent and it deserved to be heard. Kate taught me what it meant to stand up for others and help those in need and never take anything for granted, she taught me to see the beauty in the smaller things and that even when things seem bad, its okay because there is hope for change. Love will conquer all.
Helped me to develop my leadership skills and to believe in myself.
I have courage to stand up about social and racial injustices .
How intelligent and courageous I can be when it came to public speaking and letting my voice be heard when I wanted to make change..
I am important. I’m heard, valued and I should be respected. I can make a change one day at a time.
That I am somebody and can do anything I set my mind to.
Under my introverted personality I know I have a leader inside of me!
That I have a voice and that I can use it to make changes.
The one step helped me learn that I can be a part of any group and expand my knowledge.
I can be a leader. [As a teen] I was part of the funding committee that advocated for financial support to establish the center. It taught me to be more out there and to learn how to speak in front of crowds.
That I have a voice.
One Step helped me learn that patience in myself is key and I can be accepted in this community.
It helped me find my voice and get more involved in social justice activism.