Steppin' Out, Inc., founded by Alyce Kaehler and two other women is an outgrowth from a church community group focused on foster care children in Larimer County. Steppin’ Out provides support to 18-21 year olds who have “aged out” of foster care in Larimer County, CO. Youth must be taking active steps to seek employment, further their education, and working toward self-sufficiency and independent living. Each youth participant is honored with a party that includes their friends, teachers and other interested professionals, and members of Steppin' Out. They also receive a variety of gifts, including a bicycle, helmet, and lock, a savings account certificate, food, clothing, and other gift cards, a memory book, camera, flowers and greeting cards. Steppin' Out attempts to continue support through age twenty-one with an emergency fund. Another goal is to provide help with health insurance and routine medical care such as well woman care, dental cleanings and immunizations that may be unobtainable without financial assistance.
Before the first Steppin' Out event ever took place, developing and creating Steppin' Out, Inc. took four years with Alyce serving as tireless chair of the organizing group. Today, she continues to serve as President of the Board of Directors. To date, 13 youth have been honored at a ‘graduation party,’ leading to the current goal of honoring one or more youth recipient each month beginning in June 2006. Funding comes from Steppin' Out volunteers, donations from friends, churches, one small donation from a foundation, and in-kind donations from community businesses, all coordinated and/or obtained personally by Alyce.
In addition to Steppin' Out, Alyce is a driving force behind a group that provides birthday and holiday presents for all ages of foster kids in the county, has served for over 20 years as the senior counselor for a Young Mom's group at her church, volunteers regularly in public schools, and has served in all kinds of positions at her church and in American Mothers. On top of all that, at age 72, she went back to college to finish her 'interrupted' college degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude from the University of Denver in Women’s' Studies. Alyce's efforts are extraordinary because she does what she does just because it needs to be done and she has enough breath in her body and energy in her muscles and spirit in her soul to keep on doing it. She knows no other life than serving children, whether they are part of the large family that has grown up under her amazing guidance, or the community that needs her spunk and dedication.