Chicago Step Up Inspiration Awards

November 16, Step Up held their first ever Chicago Inspiration Awards at Artifact Events. Guests celebrated 25 years of Step Up mentorship at an evening soiree where they heard from girls and mentors who have been involved with the organization over the years. Guests joined Step Up CEO Delores Druilhet Morton in recognizing 2023’s honorees. Elizabeth Radichel (Partner, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP) presented to Executive Honoree Sonia Menon (Chief Operating Officer, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP), and Val Warner (TV Host) presented to young adult honoree Monica Laddaran (Dominican University Class of 2022). Surprise videos from Awkwafina and Constance Marie were also shown at the event to celebrate Laddaran and Step Up Teen Cree. 

Notable attendees include: Christen Harper (Model and Fiancée of Jared Goff – Detroit Lions), Chris Johnson (Actor, Chicago Fire), Demi B. (Content Creator), Enasha Bondurant (Content Creator), Ebonee Davis (Influencer + Author), Rebecca Huffman (Content Creator) and Jessica Jordan Ping (Advocate + Content Creator). 

The Inspiration Awards raised $750,000 to support Step Up’s mentorship programs for girls and young women. 

The new 25 Mentors of The Year distinction was reserved for those who serve as role models in the community for defining and pursuing dreams of success demonstrated through their impactful work, journeys, and characters. The full list of 25 Mentors of the Year can be found here.



Through structured mentorship programs, focused support, and inspiring connections, Step Up guides girls, and those who identify with girlhood, towards their unique goals and visions of success: first, by identifying those goals and then, building the roadmap to get there.

Under the guidance of CEO, Delores Druilhet Morton has masterfully navigated the nonprofit through pandemic challenges to adopt a new 5-year strategic vision and expand Step Up’s mentorship programs to girls nationwide. She also unveiled programs and supports for young women ages 18-29, marking the first time the organization offered services for those who had already graduated from high school. During her tenure, the organization has expanded programming to two new cities and, through virtual programming, made mentoring accessible around the globe. For more, connect at

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