At City of Promise, we are committed to a child-centered approach of educational support.

First, we honor parents as the experts and most important educators of their children, and we respect them as the key decision-makers for their children’s success. Second, our presence in the neighborhood  builds trust and accountability that make all the difference in student achievement. On a typical day, we check in with students at school, and connect them with partner activities after school.  We also help parents in their efforts to find employment or health services.

MARY COLEMAN, Executive Director

mcoleman@cityofpromise.org * 434.228.5153

Mary joined City of Promise in 2017 to lead our fundraising and donor stewardship.  After 22 years as a full-time homemaker, she began her career in fundraising as Director of Donor Relations at Woodberry Forest School where she has lived for more than 20 years. Most recently, Mary served as Advancement Director at The Covenant School here in Charlottesville where she managed fundraising, special events, marketing, alumni and parent relations.  Mary and her husband Joe met while both were students at Princeton University. They have been married for 36 years, and they have seven children and four grandchildren.

ASHLEY HOWARD, Early Childhood Coordinator

ahoward@cityofpromise.org * 434-270-9212

Ashley Howard graduated from the University of Virginia in 2008 with a B.A. in psychology and a concentration in early childhood developmental risk.  After UVA, Ashley served as a College Guide with the National Advising Corps.  She then worked from home as an editor and virtual assistant before joining the City of Promise staff in 2016. Ashley and her husband have been married for almost 10 years, and have three children.

MELISSA STEPPE, Program Supervisor/Pathway Coach for Grades 5-8

msteppe@cityofpromise.org * 434.421.5606

Melissa Steppe is a native of Charlottesville. She graduated from St.Anne's Belfield School in 2004 and then attended George Mason University where she earned a B.A in social work.  She has specialized in working with at-risk female youth, launching her own mentoring program in 2012 that served the City of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Melissa is a mentor, entrepreneur, and advocate who is passionate about helping young people believe anything is possible with a positive attitude, dedication, and belief in themselves. She enjoys serving her community and collaborating with entities that partner with City of Promise. Melissa has a 2-year old daughter whom she loves dearly. 

Please reload