STEP Fact Sheet

Selection Criteria

Twenty students are selected each year from various Akron area schools to be inducted into STEP.  They must meet the following criteria to gain consideration to become a Firestone Fellow:

  • Enrolled in the sixth grade
  • Interest/desire to obtain a college education
  • Demonstrate successful academic abilities
  • Completion of student and parent/guardian application
  • Obtain recommendations from designated school personnel and mentors of their choice
  • Completion of student and parent/guardian face to fact interview
  • Meet federal income eligibility and/or are "first generation" college students (neither parent has earned a Baccalaureate degree).

Program Objectives

Summer Component

During the six-week summer program, middle school students will attend a rigorous academic program at The University of Akron.  They will receive daily instruction in English and Math, which includes multiple hands-on learning experiences.  Students will also participate in elective classes such as speech, karate, dance, and swimming.  In addition, students will enjoy educational field trips, unique tours and career presentations with our benefactor, Bridgestone/Firestone.

The summer program culminates in an educational trip to one of the major cities in the United States or Canada.  Some of the previous trip destinations outside of Ohio have been:  Washington D.C., Florida, Massachusetts, Chicago, Texas, North and South Carolina, Arizona and Toronto.  Students participate in various cultural, social, and historical activities on these excursions.  All classes, field trips, and experiences throughout the summer are designed to prepare students for the upcoming school year and reinforce the importance and accessibility of a college education.

Academic Component

During the academic year, students return to their regular schools and extensive follow-up is provided.  School visitations are made each grading period by the Program Director to review students' academic and social progress.  Tutorial and enrichment opportunities are provided to further enhance academic achievement and success.

In addition, a series of mandatory workshops during the year are provided for the "Firestone Fellows" and their parents.  The workshop topics are designed to focus on adolescent academic and social/emotional issues.  Some of the workshop topics are:  Study Skills, Effects of Peer Pressure, Internet Safety, Self-Development, Communication, and Career Awareness.

Academic year activities include field trips, cultural excursions, recreational and volunteer activities.  These activities are provided to the students and parents, when applicable.  There is no financial cost for program participants.