Support the Enlisted Project Wins “Advance San Diego” Competition, Boosts Military Family Aid

STEP named as prime winner in competition for more than $85,500 in grants. Military families most in need to benefit from unique San Diego Social Venture Partners event competition and victory

Support The Enlisted Project (STEP) has been named the winner in the Advance San Diego competition created by San Diego Venture Partners to recognize top non profits in San Diego. STEP took first place in the Military And Their Families category as well as the Audience Choice Awards. The competition was held last night at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art and resulted in the awarding of more than $85,500 in grants to winning organizations. STEP was awarded a total of more than $20,000 and was voted one of the winners from a total original group of 67 applicants and thirty semi-finalists.

   “We are extremely pleased to have been selected as a winner within this excellent group of non-profits,” saidTony Teravainen, President and CEO of STEP. “This competition showcased the best of the best and we were delighted to have this opportunity to present our case and shine a light on the needs of our military families and those who are struggling to reenter the civilian community. This is really their victory and greatly enhances our ability to tell the story of military families who most need our help.”

   Modeled after the popular “fast pitch” venture capital funding competitions (similar to the entrepreneur TV show ‘Shark Tank’), Advance San Diego gave STEP and the other finalists just 180 seconds to present their cases.  A panel of independent judges determined cash awards and the audience voted for their own winner as well. This culminating event showcased the mission and messages of semi-finalists in different categories and was a key element of San Diego Social Venture Partner’s mission to communicate the innovative ways premier nonprofits help improve and transform the lives of San Diegans.

   “This was a great opportunity for STEP to be mentored by business leaders and to spread the word about our mission to help military families. The generous awards by San Diego Social Venture Partners will go a long way to help many military families in need. ” said Tony Teravainen, President & CEO of STEP. “We hope our message in this competition will inspire others to invest in our vision and work to help those members of the military and their families who have dedicated their lives in service to our nation.”

   San Diego Social Venture Partners offered three segments in the fast-pitch 2014 competition, including, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), Military and their Families, and Youth and the Arts. STEP will be awarded a grant totaling $15,000 as the winner in the Military category as well as an additional $10,000 for first place in the Audience Choice Award voted on by all those in attendance at the event.

 About Support the Enlisted Project (STEP) 

STEP is a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit, founded in 2005, dedicated to providing financial grants to active duty and veteran families during times of crisis and working with them to develop a path to financial self-sufficiency.  STEP focuses on the lower six pay-grades (E1-E6) including active duty, and veterans within their first 18-months following honorable discharge.  Last year STEP improved the lives of over 1,600 San Diego military family members and is currently receiving 80 applications and issuing $40,000 in grants per month.  Go to to see how you can do your part and become involved to support our junior military families when they most need our support.



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Military Press

The Military Press was created to serve the men and women of our military community; the active duty, retired, our veterans, DoD workers and their families.