Advisory Board

Greater Steps Scholars

"Give a Youth a Chance!"

Novant Health

"I support Greater Steps Scholars because I am a firm believer that higher education and mentorship are equalizers for our underserved youth. As economic mobility gaps continue to widen in our community investing in the youth that need us the most is a sure fire way to narrow the divide. Greater Steps’ mission is to attack the systemic divide through social and financial capital and I am proud to serve such a wonderful organization."

Immediate Past Chair
Hood Harget & Associates

"Greater Steps Scholars provides students living in Charlotte’s most fragile communities with the opportunity to pursue higher education along with quality programing and mentorship. I am committed to this program’s mission knowing that our students will achieve greatness and serve as an example of success to others in their community."

Ally Financial

"I support the Great Steps Scholars because of my desire to support our youth in affordable housing. Our involvement and leadership can help to make a difference."

Wake Forest University

“As a dedicated educator, I have had the fortune of witnessing first-hand the transformative impact of a college education. Supporting those who may not know that pursuing higher education is an option is important to me as it has the possibility of not only changing an individual's life, but also elevating his/her family and community.”

Wells Fargo

“Greater Steps Scholars’ mission is centered on providing each child living in public & subsidized housing the resources and access to the tools needed to level the playing field has been a passion of mine throughout my career. Having had financial challenges in pursuing my own post-secondary education, I can relate with the scholars we serve and appreciate the opportunity I have to impact their futures.”

Project Management/Strategy Consultant

"In supporting Greater Steps Scholars, I am supporting core beliefs that I hold true as a parent and a community partner. Investing our time, energy, knowledge, and money into our youth’s education is the most powerful and positive investment we can make in our society’s progress towards the future.”

LPL Financial

“I was an educator and HBCU graduate. My father lost his job my senior year of high school at Christmas. Were it not for various programs like GSS, I would not have been able to attend college.”

Centene Corporation &
Greater Steps Scholars Alumni

“I’m proud to be serving and supporting Greater Steps Scholars because education uniquely positions the youth for success and upward mobility.”

Passport Labs, Inc.

“I've worked in higher education in the past and firmly believe that everyone should have access and equal opportunity to a great education. Greater Steps Scholars plays an instrumental role in making this a reality.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

“It is both my personal and professional mission to dispel myths that optimal student performance and opportunities hinge on predetermined circumstances. I support Greater Steps Scholars because I believe removing financial burdens for students who may not otherwise have access to higher learning is a key lever to ensuring they fulfill their potential.”

Passport Labs, Inc.

"I joined first as a mentor several years ago to see if I could provide someone the type of sounding board and guidance that I was fortunate enough to receive when I was going through school. My experience with Greater Steps Scholars continues to show me that providing opportunity can make a huge impact on a student's life as well as those in their family and community."

INLIVIAN Resident Advisory Council Representative

"I support Greater Steps Scholars because, as an Inlivian resident, mother of 3 and Resident Organization President, I see the true benefit of the mentoring program, alumni support and financial guidance the foundation provide to prepare our children for the future."

Greater Steps Alumni & Selection Committee Chair

"I sincerely appreciate the support of those who value higher education and want the students of lower economic backgrounds to continue in their studies. Pursuing degrees in competitive fields can be challenging and it’s encouraging to know that people are willing to support them. This scholarship gives them the opportunity to take part in those challenges. I’m excited and grateful to be part of this."

Greater Steps Scholars Staff


Executive Director

Aisha Strothers is a dedicated nonprofit leader and has devoted her 20 plus year nonprofit career to organizations that promote educational and economic opportunities to young people and communities. Aisha’s leadership is defined by a commitment to social justice and equity. Aisha joined Greater Steps Scholars as Executive Director in August 2015 and is leading the organization’s growth and change under a bold and visionary strategic direction.

Fueled by her belief in the power of education to transform lives and create equity, she designed a mentor program for Greater Steps Scholars and implemented a career readiness component to equip students with the necessary tools they need to succeed. During her tenure at Greater Steps, Aisha has tripled the Fund’s fundraising efforts and its reach. Greater Steps’ graduation rate has increased from 24% to 30% in just three years.



Program Coordinator

Gregory “Dee” Rankin is a native Charlottean. He attended North Carolina A&T State University and UNC Charlotte where he received a Bachelor’s in Biology. Upon graduating Dee pursued a career in secondary education with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and local charter schools teaching Biology, Chemistry, Physical Science, and Mathematics. Dee has a true passion for serving youth. In 2007 Mr. Rankin founded a non-profit organization named Future L.E.A.D.E.R.S

Shortly after founding Future L.E.A.D.E.R.S. Mr. Rankin pursued a career in program coordination and management. Mr. Rankin also facilitates several workshops and trainings for other non-profits and youth-serving organizations through partnerships.