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."
"I come to the coaching position here in Moundridge after being a Team Leader in the STEPMC program myself. After reaching a point where I was unemployed, homeless, and feeling broken due to years of trauma and poverty, I found a turning point and began to rebuild a healthy future for my family. I had nothing left but hope and the desire for a better life. Years later, I've completed some training, have found friends in my Team Partners through STEPMC, and have a deep passion for helping others build their futures into what they desire. I believe anyone can overcome anything they set their mind to. In my spare time I enjoy watching movies with my two kids."
Organizational Development VISTA
"I am a senior from Bethany College majoring in Psychology and Religion. I am originally from Colorado and now reside in Salina. I am the treasurer for the Bethany Psychology Club and the President of the Bethany Gaming Club. I have a passion for music, gardening, and helping others. I hope by joining STEPMC, I can help the community and grow my skills to help me in my future career in counseling."
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."