Naresh founded Step Up after working as the Economic Development Advisor in Botswana for an international NGO funded by USAID. He saw too many young people leaving school with nowhere to go and nothing to do, instead engaging in unproductive behaviors that prevent them from living healthy and productive lives. He is passionate about education, experiential learning, cultural exchange and ensuring all young people have opportunities to thrive in school and the community. After spending his first career in the private sector as a business, marketing and account executive, Naresh brings a business-like focus on outcomes, vision and strategic planning to Step Up. Naresh has spent the most recent 10 years living in and traveling between the US and Africa building programs, raising resources and advocating for quality initiatives that truly impact the lives of youth and young adults. Naresh holds an EdM in International Educational Development and a BS in Advertising, both from Boston University, and a M.B.A from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.
As the Programs Manager at Step Up, Mompati oversees the strategy, planning, design, execution and assessment of all ACCESS Education, Step Forward and Parent Support programs. He is on the frontlines of our programming and works to ensure the Step Up approach is child-centered and impact-driven. Mompati also leads the programs team in identifying community partnerships and building relationships with stakeholders who help to advance the Step Up mission. Prior to joining Step Up, Mompati was a health and wellness peer educator, the secretary general under the Living and Learning community program and a member of the Society Against HIV/AIDS. He believes that education, training, mentoring and skills development are essential to empowering children and youth to realize their full potential. Mompati holds a Bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and Community Development from the University of Botswana.
Bonno comes to Step Up after working as a Programs Officer in the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development. While at the Ministry, Bonno organized performing arts programs, engaged more than 100 individual artists to showcase their work in exhibits and provided young community members with hands-on opportunities to create visual arts pieces. She is passionate about seeing young people in her community have opportunities to discover talents and use creativity to express themselves. As a Programs Officer at Step Up, Bonno works with the team to deepen the arts opportunities available to our Achievers, facilitates daily activities and supports the Parent Support program. Bonno holds a BA with honors in Communication, Media and Broadcasting and also received an Associate Degree in Public Relations, both from Limkokwing University.
Ontibile works with the Step Up programs team to design and implement a range of creative arts, music and project-based learning activities for our primary and secondary school Achievers. While working as a Programs Officer at the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Ontibile managed Youth Development Fund projects where young people received grants to start microenterprises. She also organized community cultural events that featured photographic exhibits, visual arts projects and local music talent. Ontibile supports and facilitates ACCESS, Step Forward and Parent Support group programs. She believes access to arts and experiential learning programs are essential components of a healthy community. Ontibile holds a diploma in Public Relations and a BA with honors in Event Management form Limkokwing University.
Katrin first visited Botswana while pursuing a four-month internship in Gaborone at the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation, a political organization that advocates for social democracy and economic development. She has always been passionate about helping vulnerable members of the community and previously volunteered in Germany at an organization supporting young children with mental disabilities.
Katrin was instrumental in the design, planning and launch of our first ACCESS programs with grade five Achievers. After spending a year on the ground at Step Up in Molepolole working intimately with our first cohort of primary school students, Katrin has returned to Germany, but continues to closely support and advise the Step Up leadership team. Katrin holds a Masters Degree in Cultural Geography from the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany, where she also put her theoretical knowledge to practical use conducting fieldwork in Ethiopia and the Philippines.
Lebogang is a Programs Assistant at Step Up where she inspires Achievers to develop proficient English language learning skills through creative writing, fun reading and collaborative presentation activities. Prior to joining Step Up, Lebogang was a teaching assistant at Motswasele Junior School and Sekgele Junior school. She also tutored children in English and Setswana at Springboard Humanism organization. Lebogang has a diploma in Secondary Education from Molepolole College of Education where she majored in English.