STEP Program now accepting applications

The Science Technology Enrichment Program (STEP), formerly known as the Summer Work Experience Leadership Program (SWELP), is an evidence-based best practice career development program primarily for youth ages 14-19.


The Columbia Urban League’s Science Technology Enrichment Program (STEP) is a transition from the Summer Work Experience Leadership Program (SWELP), which was an evidence-based, best-practice career development program for primarily disadvantaged and under served youth between the ages of 14 & 19. This summer, our main objective is to provide work experiences that include exposure to global technology and the Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills necessary to obtain and maintain gainful employment in the emerging global workforce. According to the Center for the Future of Work, emerging fields include: data detection, information technology, ethical sourcing, artificial intelligence, computing, fitness, healthcare, finance, etc. Providing summeremployment in these related career fields will provide our youth with the skills needed to compete in today’s workforce. These work experiences will inspire our youth to strive for academic success in STEM areas and prepare them for global career opportunities, enabling them to earn a livable income to become productive and contributing members of society.

In order to be eligible to participate in the program, interested youth must complete a STEPapplication. STEP applications will become available on April 1, 2019 at the Columbia Urban League (1400 Barnwell Street, Columbia, SC 29201). The application requires personal information, prior work experience information, a personal reflection stating the applicant’s career interest and why he/she would like to work this summer, two letters of recommendation and a photocopy of formal identification. All applications must be completed and mailed to the Columbia Urban League by May 31, 2019. (P.O. Box 50125, Columbia, SC 29250)


·         Participants must participate in job skills training/orientation prior to work site placement.

·         Parents are required to attend orientation sessions.

·         Placements usually last for two to four weeks.

·         Participants work twenty hours per week.

·         Participants must write an essay on their work experience and lessons learned.

·         Participants earn a $250 stipend upon completion of a two week work assignment and receipt  of required documentation.



·         To provide career shadowing to introduce participants to real-life work experience.

·          To mentor participants to increase their knowledge of business etiquette and work ethics.

·         To offer structured environments to help build participants’ self esteem.

·         To encourage networking opportunities for exposure of different careers fields.

If accepted to participate in the program, the student and his/her parent (guardian) must attend a mandatory job skills training/orientation prior to receiving their job site assignment. After successful completion of two 20-hour work weeks, the participant will receive a $250.00 stipend and a certificate of completion. The program will begin on June 10, 2019 and will conclude on August 9, 2019. Although it is our desire to serve all eligible applicants, the number of students served by this program is contingent upon the amount of funding we receive.

Although it is our desire to serve all eligible applicants, the number is students served by this program is contingent upon the amount of funding we receive. For more information or questions regarding the Columbia Urban League's Science Technology Enrichment Program (STEP), please contact Michelle Daniels: (803) 929-1033