/ Step Up

Program Information

For fall 2021, Step Up will meet both in-person and virtually. Students will be able to choose based on their schedule and level of comfort being in-person. Masks will be required.

  • In-person Step Up meets Mondays and Wednesdays 3–4:30 p.m.
  • Virtual Step Up is a flexible schedule.


Enrollment for current and new students begins in the spring semester before their 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade school years. Parents and students complete an application and student participation agreement each year. A special enrollment session for CASA 5th grade students and their parents is held each spring to invite them to join. All students are invited to an orientation session each September.

For more information, please contact stepup@hope.edu or 616.395.7020.

Apply Today

“Step Up has helped me study for class and in my assignments. This program will help me succeed in middle school and go onto high school and college.”
—Erick, Macatawa Bay

Participating Schools

Middle school students (grades 6–8) from all Holland-area schools are invited to apply.

Holland Public

  • Holland Middle School

West Ottawa

  • Harbor Lights Middle School
  • Macatawa Bay Middle School

Other Schools

  • Corpus Christi Catholic School
  • Eagle Crest Charter Academy
  • Vanderbilt Charter Academy

“It helps me get my online homework done since I don’t have internet at home.”
—Jaime, Holland East

Program History

Step Up began as joint project of CASA and Upward Bound. The two Hope College organizations promote academic achievement in 1st through 5th graders (CASA) and 9th through 12th graders (Upward Bound). In 2010 the staff of both organizations recognized a gap in services for middle school students. These students lacked the support they needed to succeed in school and the encouragement to consider future educational and career opportunities.

Step Up filled this gap, beginning in fall 2010 with five students who enrolled and eagerly participated. The program continued to grow and in fall 2013 the program received a grant through Americorps Faith in Youth Partnership for a full-time site coordinator to oversee the program and provide mentoring. With clear success, the program has continued to grow and now serves over 40 middle school students each year!