Trasnparent Fill Image

We serve young single mothers & children

Being a young single mother is often a difficult road to walk.  Step By Step is here to support young moms as they reach their goals while overcoming obstacles. We will always meet her with love and understanding instead of disapproval and judgment. Programs  offered at Step By Step coupled with a mom's dedication and drive will give her the skills and confidence she needs, opening the door to whatever promising future she desires for herself and her family.

Services provided by Step By Step:

  • Mentoring
  • Support groups
  • Workshops on parenting, life skills, budgeting, communication, relationships, nutrition, goal setting, and more
  • Large group meetings with fun activities and a warm meal for moms and their children
  • “Dare To Dream” goal setting sessions
  • Bible Studies and Discipleship
  • Resource Referrals
  • Crisis Intervention
  • Children’s Program for the Kids which includes Bible teaching and character development
  • Transportation to large group meetings
  • Mama’s Hideout where they can come throughout the week to find support, prayer and guidance
  • Advocacy

Mission & Vision

Our mission is to empower and embolden young single mothers to improve their lives, their families, and their communities through healing, encouragement, faith and education.

Our vision is a Lexington that fosters belonging and empowers young, single mothers to positively impact their families and communities.


Step by Step was founded by three best friends with a burning desire to impact child abuse and neglect statistics in their community by providing support and encouragement to young families. One of the founders, Terri Behrens, put it this way… “I was a single mom before I was a married mom and I can tell you, being a single mom is more than twice as hard.” The desire was to create a welcoming, accepting, loving atmosphere for these very young women who are full of possibility. It was to be a place where they didn’t feel judged, but could enjoy and support each other, and learn life skills that would not only impact them...but their children as well.

Core Values

  • On Mission: The foundation of our organization is a Christ-centered mission.  Our faith is the reason we do what we do. 1 John 4:19 We love because He first loved us. 
  • Empowerment: We are mom-led and empowerment-focused. We believe our moms are capable of incredible things and hold the answers to their own challenges. We work to make space, give agency, and introduce skills to foster their achievement.  
  • Acceptance: Everyone is accepted and loved here.  We serve young single moms and kids from every walk of life. Regardless of your tradition or beliefs, you are welcome here.
  • Holistic Care: We are a holistic and trauma-informed organization, working to reduce the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and to build resilience in the lives of our moms and kids.
  • Soul Care: Our Staff and volunteer culture focuses on soul care and burn out avoidance.  We foster skills in the areas of boundaries and mental health, while prioritizing rest.
  • Innovation:  We will never do things just because it is the way we have always done them.  We are open to new ideas and look to our moms for guidance and inspiration. 
  • Community partnerships: We do not operate in a vacuum.  We work with more than 150 organizations and companies to connect moms and kids to resources to overcome barriers.
  • Belonging: We believe our moms and kids are the future of our community and therefore we foster opportunities for the community to get involved and learn the needs as well as the strengths of those we serve.  They belong in this community. 
  • Fun: We laugh a lot.  The world is a hard place but we work to infuse fun in everything we do.  
  • Abundance: Although we are small, our reach is big. We do not operate out of a mindset of scarcity. We believe our community has everything we need, in gifts, talents, and resources, to further our mission to support young families.


  • 1995: SBS was founded. A group of 15 young mothers attended the first "Revive Night" gathering.  Focused on building community through support groups and shared stories, life-skill courses, and leadership development, the group grew quickly. Revive Nights feature free transportation, free infant care, free children's programming, and a hot meal.
  • 1997: SBS incorporated as 501 c 3 non-profit and moved its bi-weekly ‘Revive’ meetings to a larger facility to accommodate incredible growth.
  • 1999: Opened the doors to "Mama's Hideout" allowing young mothers access to computers and mentors, daily.
  • 2005-07: Quadrupled number of people served.
  • 2010-16: Board and staff developed infrastructure for sustainability and expansion
  • 2018: Step By Step launches Refine Mentor Program, highly training local women to meet one hour per week with young single moms offering support and encouragement.
  • 2019: SBS launched Echo and Resound Leadership Development Program: This 2-year intensive program for graduates of Step By Step provides leadership skills such as public speaking, curriculum development, and support group facilitation transferable to the workforce.  ER Leaders move on to become mentors.
  • 2019: SBS moved into a new "Mama''s Hideout" facility, nearly three times the size of their previous location, giving moms and their children space to attend workshops, work on resumes or online classes, and receive therapy.
  • 2020: SBS responded to the needs of SBS moms at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and continued for over a year, assisting with rent and bills to keep moms homed and delivering basic needs items such as diapers, cleaning supplies, and toilet paper.
  • 2021: SBS launched their first Step Into Freedom, 8-week trauma-informed financial literacy course. Participants receive a financial advocate who will meet with them weekly for one year to strengthen and solidify skills.  Any funds they save in their individual development account will be matched by Step By Step X 2.

Dr. Tiffany Wheeler, PhD
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Transylvania University

Vice President

Sarah Fink
Director of Patron Experience & Events, Keeneland Association


Candace Smith
Member, Steptoe & Johnson PLLC


Jena McNeill
Director of Government & Legislative Relations, East Kentucky Power Cooperative


Lindsey DeMoss
Wholesale Coordinator, Beaufort Bonnet Company


Dr. Christi Hayne, J.D.
Assistant Professor of Accounting, Program Director, Transylvania University


Lindsey Clem
Director of Philanthropy, Grateful Patients & Families, University of Kentucky

Community Advisory Committee

Committee Chair

Dr. Tiffany Wheeler, PhD
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Transylvania University

Toa Green
Owner, Crank & Boom Craft Ice Cream

Rev. Kelly Hale
Hospice Chaplain, Bluegrass Care Navigators and Minister of Pastoral Care, Crestwood Christian Church

Sheila Sekela
Former SBS Board Member and Executive Director, Owner, Fairview Farm Sport Horse Boarding

Michael Adams
Co-Founder & Vice President Executive Bourbon Steward of the Kentucky Black Bourbon Guild

Rebekah Gray
Business Unit Leader, Advanced Technology, Gray Construction

Kevin Jun
Project Finance Specialist, Stoel Rives LLP

Pastor Bradley Thomas
Executive Pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church

Megan Winfield
Chief Technology Officer, Campspot

Colene Elridge
Be More Consulting, CEO

Dr. Anne Murry
Murry Foundation

Rev Kristina White
Director of Faith Formation Ministries, Southern Hills UMC

Dr. Corrine Williams, ScM, ScD
Interim Chair and Associate Professor, College of Public Health,  and Associate Vice President of Student Well-Being, University of Kentucky

Mom Advisory Committee

Our mission to empower and embolden young single mothers means that we center their voices in our decision making processes. They regularly complete SWOT analyses, review curriculum, and make suggestions that strengthen our organization. We believe that the most directly impacted should have influence in our organization. Current and graduated Moms serve on our Mom Advisory Committee.

StepByStep00097 (1)


Executive Director

Tanya Torp

Development Manager

Alicia Sims

Director of Operations

Kelli Rehmel

Office Administrator

Lisa Grigsby

Program Coordinator

Brittany Sutton

Community Engagement Coordinator

Amanda Williams