Our Story

Our story began when we took our girls down to Mexico to build a home for a family in need! Poverty is different in Mexico, like most third-world counties, the poorest of the poor have little to no resources to tap into, which as you can imagine makes it extremely difficult to grow out of.

As soon as we got off the bus that day, and began to unload our building supplies, Hazel met Rosie. From that moment on, they stuck together like glue, as if they’d been friends for years. It was amazing to me how two kids, not even having a language in common, could spend hours together without missing a beat.

I had a basic knowledge of Spanish back then, enough to learn Rosie’s age and that she had never attended school, she was 9 at the time. At the end of that long day, as we packed up the van to head back over the border, I knew my mission was to do everything I could to get this little girl into school.

That day was almost four years ago, and the catalyst for starting Small Steps For Change. After months of sweat and many tears, we were able to get Rosie into an amazing school, where they worked tirelessly getting her up to speed on the basics. Our mission for one little girl has turned into many young children that simply can’t afford to meet the basic requirements for getting an education.

Why Small Steps? Because We KNOW Every Step Counts

Our story began with one little girl, but today our sponsored students and homework clubs support over 50 children in one small colony in Baja California. Our focus is education, because we know it's the foundation of growth, but our efforts are not just based in the classroom. We believe there are incremental steps that help build a sustainably thriving community.  Each step in combination with the others is where the goals we set become the gold standard for success. 

We know that academics combined with character development and community service raises up capable, ethical, and altruistic young people eager to help better their families and communities.  We know change doesn't happen over night, but with small steps, we HAVE made a difference.  

OUR MISSION

To change the trajectory of poverty by empowering communities through education, advocacy and access to critical needs.

OUR VISION

To build a benchmark of success that can be implemented in any community in need around the world.

OUR TEAM

Vennessa Fuhs

Program Manager & Co-Founder

Vennessa is a native of Southern California and an activist for change. She believes that education is the key instrument for ensuring equality and progress in all parts of the world. Her work is centered around supporting the goals and needs of our sponsored children and their families as well as leading our animal education program. She's working on growing our programs to encompass all 3 of our community goals "mind (academics), body (nutrition), and soul (animal education)" goals.

Brandi and Dan Theis

Board Member

Brandi and Dan Theis are the inspiration for the creation of Small Steps for Change. They have been serving in Mexico for longer than most of us and have incredible hearts for service.

Karen Berger

Co-Founder, Secretary and Treasurer 
Board Member

Karen Berger put Small Steps For Change on the map. She's also currently our Secretary and Treasurer.

Leticia (Letty) Sanchez

Community Activist 

Leticia (Letty) Sanchez holds a degree in education from the University of Riverside, she is a native and resident of Mexico and has a passion for fighting the inequalities that exist there. Letty believes that education is the key to bridging that gap. She brings a wealth of cultural knowledge and language expertise that's vital in our work down there.

Ronald (Ronnie) Greene

Board Member

Ronald (Ronnie) Greene is a successful entrepreneur and brings a wealth of business knowledge, goal setting, and execution.

Kari Doelman

Education Specialist
Board Member

Kari Doelman holds a degree in education and the Spanish language. She is a teacher by trade and brings a wealth of educational knowledge to our organization. She believes in creating a sustainable, well supported education program that provides accountability with progress reports to our sponsors.

Molly Flores

Nutrition Specialist
Board Member

Molly Flores has also been serving in Mexico for quite some time, her heart and her passion is in caring for the poor. She will be leading our nutritional program.

Guadalupe (Lupita) Bueno Flores

Education Director 
Board Member

Guadalupe (Lupita) Bueno Flores is the Director of education at Corazones Magicos, our go to for most things in Mexico, the backbone of our education program and the boots on the ground 24/7.

Jose Luis and Cindy Pesina

Ministry Partner and Homework Club Leaders 

Jose Luis and Cindy Pesina are our ministry partners and have been serving in Mexico the longest. They are the inspiration and leaders of our homework clubs (aka: Mi Escuelita) and are serving over 50 children around the community we are supporting.

Anthony and Laura Maria De León

Education and Ministry Leaders  

Anthony and his wife Laura María are responsible for managing, reporting and growing our homework club (Mi Escuelita). Anthony graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Education, from the University of the Californias International. Anthony is a full time pastor with Grace of Calvary Ministries, his love for Jesus and his passion for education and music is proving to be an amazing asset to our Mi Escuelita program. His vision for Mís escuelitas, is to grow our program to other areas where education is limited. His desire is to change the perspective of what receiving a formal education can mean for the future of children living in poverty.

Help Other People We Dream to Create A Bright Future Of The Underprivileged Children