What We Do

The Next Step is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides tuition assistance to individuals active in a 12-step recovery program from alcohol or substance use disorder who demonstrate financial need and are pursuing an academic or vocational education.


Each academic year, The Next Step invites qualified individuals to apply for a scholarship. If an applicant meets the requirements, they are invited to an in-person interview with two members of the board of directors. The Scholarship Committee then evaluates each applicant and makes a recommendation for a scholarship award. All scholarships are distributed directly to the educational institution and can be used for tuition or books.

Scholarships are funded by private donors, grants, and special event revenues.


The Next Step was founded in 2005 by group of friends who saw a need in the recovery community for financial assistance for individuals who wanted to continue their education. The organization has grown each year based on the belief that education is one of the best ways to rise above addiction. We want to help those who are already helping themselves improve their lives, the lives of their families, and ultimately, the St. Louis community.