Cecil Steppe is a courageous conversationalist who believes in the value of hard work and self-sufficiency. Descended from slavery and raised by a single parent, Steppe climbed the ladder from serviceman, porter, bus mechanic, and probation officer before rising to become the Chief Probation Officer and later Director of Social Services at the County of San Diego. After retiring, he became the CEO of the Urban League, where he led an effort to provide tools for success for communities of color. Steppe also leads the Board of Governors that turned Gompers Academy Charter School into a high-achieving school now recognized as a national model. He believes that every child is capable of learning and strives to teach students to think of themselves as leaders. As a result, the school has had a 100% graduation rate over the past 3 years.
"It's time for the next generation to come forward."