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The Daisy Diaries

Modeling School: Why I Left My Job as An Agent to Become an Agent of Change (and how nothing’s changed at all)

CEO Jenni Luke

In this monthly column, Step Up CEO Jenni Luke shares her take on mentorship through role modeling.

All work is important work if you love it.

When I decided to leave Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann after five years of working my way up the ladder, learning from the best and serving talented clients, it was because I loved something else more. A passion for social justice and equal opportunity issues drew me to law school several years prior. Even though I didn’t love practicing law, I couldn’t leave behind the reasons I was drawn to it in the first place. Though it hurt to leave ‘the business,’ it was a conscious uncoupling. Bob Broder was gracious enough to pick up the phone on my behalf and agent me into my first nonprofit job.
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The Container Store Party I’ll Never Forget


Step Up social media intern Elnaz Janfaza shares her behind-the-scenes access to the private preview party of The Container Store’s newest location at Farmers Market!

Don’t underestimate The Container Store’s ability to throw a good party. I have to say I didn’t know what to expect going to a party at The Container Store but it exceeded my expectations. The Container Store’s newest California location is on Fairfax Avenue, part of the Farmers Market at the Grove in Los Angeles. Opening weekend the store promised to donate 10% of all proceeds to Step Up which provided Step Up with a $10,500 donation! And they did a great job getting the festivities started by hosting a Private Preview Party. My favorite part of the night were various food stations displayed around the store because they were almost hidden and you had to look throughout the store to find them. Every station was displayed beautifully with flowers and decor that fit each theme. Another part of the night I enjoyed was the dessert station with macaroons and amazing chocolate moose. Not only was the food fun and tasty but the food was also presented in adorable little containers. Some were in mason jars and others in fun Chinese takeout boxes. However, the most creative were little appetizers you would find in drawers of the displays. They really showed that just about anything could be contained in their products.
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Luminary Circle Member of the Month: Chicago’s Annette Winkelman

Annette Winkelman

Annette Winkelman is a former board member and long-time Luminary Circle member who is inspired by Step Up’s work to inspire teen girls to fulfill their potential. In addition to investing her time as a mentor to our teens, inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM, Annette also engages her company, Deloitte, in hosting the Career Connections Conference and sponsoring events. For all the ways you support our mission, Annette, we thank you!

Volunteer of the Month: New York’s Anne Haack

Anne Haack

Anne Haack has been a Step Up member since 2006, and each year, she seems to contribute even more than the year before. If there is a Step Up event, Anne will be there. Not only does she attend events for current members, but she has proved to be steadfast and committed to recruiting new members to our organization. Anne is an enthusiastic volunteer and she is often the first face people meet upon arriving at Step Up events. We value her dedication and her energy.

Anne recently said, “I am a part of several organizations, but Step Up is one that I always come back to.” We’re so glad she does. Thank you, Anne!

Teen of the Month: Los Angeles’ Susana


Susana is a senior at Environmental Science and Technology High School in Los Angeles. Weekly Step Up meetings are one of the highlights of her weeks, spending time with her Step Up sisters and having that positive space to be herself and discover her interests. This year, she plans to stick around once a week and help out with the younger girls.  Susana has taken advantage of every Step Up opportunity that has been offered, but her favorite memory is going on the Bay Area College Tour and finding the college of her dreams, while being surrounded by friendship and support.  She’s hoping to finish high school strong and be able to report back as a college student (hopefully attending MILLS). She is interested in studying to be a doctor, teacher, or lawyer…  she’s still exploring, but confident that she now has the tools to be successful every step of the way.