Learn About Our Origin and Founders
Mena Badros, Jonathan Jimenez and Alex Rias met during college, as members of the same national fraternity and teammates on a step team that competed around the country. They each shared something else in common: a knack for public speaking and inspiring personal and leadership development. Alex, Mena and Jon quickly recognized that stepping could be utilized to engage audiences and bring new life to stories and messages of motivation. This is how Step Above was born!
Mena is a youth development guru, a stepper and a speaker who called Pennsylvania his home after he and his family moved from Egypt as a child. He began as a stepper and speaker in college, and has shared his message of purpose with thousands of students in schools across the country. He lives his life according to one simple and profound statement, "food is to eat, water is to drink, life is to live.” Mena also coordinates youth development programs and efforts in his local community of residence.
Jon is a natural people-person who finds the best in those he meets. While at college, he discovered his ability to be very observant of others’ strengths and weaknesses, and to work with them to best maximize on their strength and develop their skills, all while becoming a very entertaining stepper. With ties to urban New York City and rural Pennsylvania, the understanding that everyone has a unique story and a unique journey has shaped his perspective.
Alex reminds us to think four words (Think4Words), “for the future’s future” as we pursue our goals. He originates from Queens, New York City. and is an education, youth-and-community development advocate, speaker, stepper, former international martial artist and a lover of high fives! He began stepping and public speaking as a college student, where he also developed a love for advocacy. Alex expanded on that in graduate school, where he studied public policy and management.
Learn About Our Culture and Performers
The founders of Step Above wanted to mix stepping, speaking, poetry and other arts to create engaging displays of real-life experiences that will also provide a strong impact. Overall at the core of what Step Above does, is the focus on personal development and empowering others to step above all challenges. The performers have backgrounds in stepping, poetry, dance, music, theater, public speaking, etc. and Step Above fosters the growth of those individual talents to meet the developmental needs of the performances and motivational needs of the audiences.