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Merging the Two Tuskegee's

Since our founding in 2010, Next Step Up has provided a high level of quality and professionalism. That’s largely because of our concerted effort to deepen the connections we have within the Tuskegee community and to continuously improve the personalized services we provide.

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Emergency Merging of the Two Tuskegee's  (Tuskegee University and the city of Tuskegee)

Upon graduating from Booker T. Washington high school in Tuskegee, AL our founder, Elise Tolbert, decided to stay in her hometown to attend Tuskegee University (TU). She believed that by staying in her hometown she could utilize her network to make a positive impact. Upon beginning school, she ran for Miss Freshman under the campaign theme E.M.T. which stood for both the initials of her name and also Emergency Merging of the Two Tuskegee's . This theme came out of the realization that TU students had a negative view of the locals and that locals had a disconnected relationship with TU students. She also noticed that local students were very smart but needed guidance and motivation to reach their goals and TU students wanted an avenue to interact with local students but did not have a formal way to do so. Thus, Next Step Up was founded to bridge the gap between the university and community and to provide vital guidance to students as they pursue their goals.


To enhance the student both academically and socially by providing assistance and mentorships through the development of healthy relationships, and the realization of academic achievement in and out of high school.


Our intent is to add our positive influence to the Tuskegee community. Education is one of the most valuable assets a person can possess and we want to ensure that each student has the tools that need to pursue their dreams.

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Founder and Director

Elise Marie Tolbert is a native of Tuskegee, Alabama. Elise received her B.S. in Environmental Science from Tuskegee University and Masters of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences from the University of Michigan. Elise currently works at the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. Before which, she worked at Tuskegee University as an Environmental Health/Public Health Specialist. Elise is committed to improving communities, particularly those of color, by improving the quality of education, health and the environment, thus improving quality of life. Ms. Tolbert lives by motto “Blaze your own trail,” which reminds her of her responsibility to follow her heart and create a path for others.



Experienced, trustworthy, fun. These are just a few of the ways students and volunteers describe this invaluable member of our team. Kasey Hornbuckle is truly a joy to be around and makes it a pleasure to work with her every single day.


Vice President

It didn’t take long for Jasmine McNaire to make a big impact as our Vice President. Professionalism to a tee and never without a smile, Jasmine brings her experience and skills to the forefront in helping our program grow and evolve.


Committed to Excellence

Next Step Up has been a consistent and trustworthy Tutoring Service since 2010. All of our volunteers are committed to providing service of the highest quality, paying particular attention to work efficiently and expediently while keeping the lines of communication with students and teachers clear and concise.

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