Steps to End Poverty in McPherson County was founded in 2010 by a group of passionate leaders in the city of McPherson who were dedicated to fighting poverty and inspired by the power that relationships had in that fight. For the majority of our history, STEPMC was connected with the Circles USA movement. Over the past decade we have worked tirelessly to build relationships and walk alongside people as they overcome poverty.
"I became Executive Director in May, 2019. I attended Bethel College in North Newton, KS where I studied Social Work and Religion. It was also at Bethel that I met my wife Elizabeth (a Moundridge native) who now teaches middle school English in Moundridge. After Bethel, I went on to get my Master's in Social Work from the University of Kansas and spent some time working on homlessness prevention in downtown Wichita, where I learned about programs like STEPMC. In my spare time I love playing bluegrass music with my family, being active outside, and finding any ways I can to use tools."
"I have been the McPherson Coach since 2017.I grew up in poverty, moving probably once a year. In 2013, I had a broken down car, no license due to driving without insurance (I couldn't afford it), lost my out of town job due to no car, rent almost due, and 2 children in elementary school. I was scared and felt incredibly alone. I didn't think anyone could understand the struggles I had. I thought I was a failure. Then I joined STEPMC.Through a lot of hard work, supportive relationships, and time, I overcame poverty. I have now gone to college, and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA. I deeply believe in this organization and the work we do, ENDING poverty, one family at a time."
Organizational Development VISTA
"I am a senior at McPherson College, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Communications.I am originally from Las Vegas but primarily lives in McPherson, Kansas now. I have been an editor for the school newspaper and creative journal, which is a nod to my passion for writing and poetry."
Smoky Valley Coach
"I am Journey Lee and I come to STEPMC with a background in trauma, domestic and sexual violence advocacy, and poverty. As the Smoky Valley Coach, my aim is to create connections so the stories of the community can make a difference in our little piece of the world. I am an Army Veteran who served for eight years and deployed in 2011-2012 to help withdraw troops from Iraq and currently a volunteer with the Crisis Text Line. I have two children who provide plenty of laughs and funny anecdotes with their silly antics that usually involves a dance or song. I am an avid reader, world traveler, and writer who loves trying new experiences (like skydiving or swimming with dolphins!) However, I’m also always up for a board game night or a book recommendation. One final note: I am an animal lover and never turn down looking at cute animal picture."