At Small Steps Go Places, we help high school students successfully transition to college.
Staying true to the name, Small Steps Go Places has evolved from an idea to disrupt the education industry, to a card game, and finally to a full college-bound system. With bountiful resources, workshops, and tools; Small Steps Go Places is a full-scale program for school systems designed to aid students and parents through the high school to college transition and equip the school counselors who support them.
“Through my education, I didn’t just develop skills, I didn’t just develop the ability to learn, but I developed confidence. “
Genevieve is an education consultant who helps students understand what going to college means and helps them navigate the gap between the dependance of high school and the freedom of college.
Genevieve Griffin is the Founder and Curator of Small Steps Go Places. Genevieve believes she started truly living when she set out to go to college. Now, her everyday is structured around helping others achieve success in those transformative, college years.
Growing up in Michigan, as the daughter of two hard working, goal-oriented, government employees, Genevieve had a preconceived notion of what career success meant and how to get there. Genevieve took a bold step when she set her mind to heading to college, despite not having a roadmap or much support for her journey. She was the first in her family. She enjoyed academic but didn’t understand that strategic study skills would be necessary to be successful with college level academic work. She left her rural, small town in 1978 to live in the city for ten transformative years at the University of Michigan.
Without adequate college preparation, she spent much of her time in Ann Arbor on academic probation. Without support, she felt alone, like an imposter. Navigating the transition from a small rural high school to a university of thousands felt impossible, like she was surviving to simply get by. Genevieve knew she had to get out of her comfort zone, she craved work and living experiences different from the stability she grew up in. She created multiple internships for herself across diverse areas including psychology, oncology, social services, and law. Upon graduation, Genevieve accepted a civil service job. Feeling restrained in the role, she returned to the University of Michigan and earned a Masters in Urban Planning. Thereafter, she directed a program for college residence life and developed a game for displaced homemakers in a community college program. Genevieve has always believed in learning by doing, so she booked trips and traveled to Toronto, California, and then Eastern and Southern Europe.
It was after her masters degree and various work experience that Genevieve realized she didn’t have to always ‘jump in and survive.’ With a focus on structure and systems, she could plan and take steps to thrive. She started to ask herself how can she can help other people successfully transition through life experiences.
She moved to New York City with her husband. After becoming certified through the Red Cross to teach HIV prevention, Genevieve developed a program focusing on adolescents. She went on to homeschool her children. This planted her commitment to include students in deciding how education is best consumed.
Around 2012, while Genevieve was helping her oldest child prepare for college, she felt an urgent obligation to share what she felt was pertinent and valuable advice. Genevieve was determined to give her three children a more valuable preparatory educational experience than she had. She wanted to create a setting that recognized their abilities, respected their desires, and placed their well-being at the heart of instruction.
Genevieve is passionate about providing experiential learning opportunities because she has seen the value that comes from student involvement in the processes that shape their lives. When they play an active role in learning, better outcomes are attained. When they are aware of what helps them to thrive, they can set themselves up for success. When they use their experience to take calculated risks while creating a supportive social structure, they develop decision-making skills that can serve them well for life. With these insights at hand, a dedication to education, and Genevieve’s creative nature, Small Steps Go Places was created.
Small Steps Go Places helps bridge the gap between high school dependence and college freedom. Small Steps Go Places is a full-scale program for school systems designed to aid students and parents through the high school to college transition and equip the school counselors who support them.