Step Ahead is a national network of college student-athlete directed running teams for children on the autism spectrum. The program strives to increase the self-confidence and skill levels of the young runners by providing a positive, supportive environment.

Annie Marggraff, 2018 Gratitude Fellow, Step-A-Head Founder

United States flag

Gratitude Fellowship Focus:

  • Helped craft and solidify scaling and expansion plans to take Step Ahead nationwide
  • Coaching focused on personal leadership development for Fellow
  • Connected Step Ahead to legal support for assistance with the 501c3 application process


  • Step Ahead completed a full organization rebranding – including a name and website change
  • Step Ahead secured a fiscal sponsor and is completing the 501c3 process
  • Step Ahead increased the number of chapters from 1 to 4 with plans to expand to 14 chapters within the year
  • Step Ahead increased the number of child participants by 57%
  • Step Ahead increased the number of volunteers by 143%

“The Gratitude Network was the catalyst that gave me the confidence and the spark to actually make my organization into a national organization.”

“The fellowship offered the exact support I needed…”

“My coach has become so much more than just a mentor. She is a cheerleader, a friend, an advisor, and an advocate of both my organization and me.”