Greater Steps Scholars — formerly known as the Charlotte Housing Authority Scholarship Fund — was established in 1983 by the INLIVIAN Board of Commissioners and founded by Dr. John T. Crawford, a former INLIVIAN Youth Services Coordinator. Crawford had been approached by a young INLIVIAN resident who needed $300 to return to college for his senior year. He and a friend pooled their resources and helped the student with the funds — and in doing so, realized there were many other students who lived in subsidized housing with the same limited financial resources.
The mission of Greater Steps has remained the same throughout its history — to provide every child living in subsidized housing an opportunity for and expectation of a college education. The program considers the entire picture of what a Scholar needs to succeed — one-on-one coaching, mentorship, educational workshops, and access to potential career opportunities in addition to financial assistance.