Attollo program provides unique opportunities for students


Image courtesy of the Attollo Prep. All rights reserved

Vivian Ealy

Storytelling. Exposure. Vulnerable experiences. These are just a few words Jordan Steffy, CEO and founder of Attollo Prep, chose when describing the program.

The high school based organization serves as a pipeline for diverse leaders for the future, engaging young adults at a time in high school when they’re able to grow and learn from significant experiences. It aims to form a collective community while also providing students with a sense of purpose and formative leadership skills.

Junior Sophie Yost says that she believes Attollo guides students through figuring out what their passions are: “Becoming a scholar is so helpful because we can participate in programs like pre-med, coding, SAT prep, and a startup class. … Attollo allows me to explore careers and opportunities that I would have never tried before,”  Yost says.

Steffy wanted to provide students with these opportunities, because, as a first generation college student in his family, he had to figure out the “complexities of navigating the college process” by himself. Steffy started Attollo Prep as a way to provide high school students with the assistance he never received when he was exploring his options for the future. 

Steffy mentions that he founded this program while studying at the University of Maryland, and recalls some meaningful advice that inspired him to start Attollo from such a young age. “You should teach something shortly after you learned it, while you still remember what it’s like to not know it,” Steffy says. 

The program was introduced to Manheim Township High School three years ago. Thirty to thirty-five juniors are chosen for the program each year by guidance counselors and principals, who look for students with diverse backgrounds and those who have had a positive  influence on their fellow peers. Some Attollo recruit activities at Township include SAT preparation, introduction to different career fields, and, most famously, the solving of the Rubix Cube. 

The recruit process occurs from 5:30-7:15 a.m., three days a week, for six weeks in the winter; this six-week process involves Attollo recruits finding out what they want to study and what path they want to follow after high school. Recruits then have an interview at the end of the six weeks with a community member where they recall the six pillars of the program and then provide a story that goes along with each of the six pillars; the recruits then have to solve the Rubix Cube in under 90 seconds. According to Yost, these tasks show that students can complete hard things and accomplish difficult tasks. When students pass the recruitment process and become a scholar, they are able to take night classes with the program. 

 Junior Ray Corbin has learned many lessons from  his  experience with Attollo at Manheim Township. “My favorite memory was when we got to sit outside at 6 am in the cold and [we] talked about everyone’s lives….their ups and downs. It showed all of us that, even in the hardest of times, we can still make it through,” Corbin said.

The program also funds college trips, where students have the opportunity to travel around the country to tour schools inColorado, California, Oregon, and more. The funds for these trips are acquired through community events; the school also contributes a nominal fee for each student. 

Steffy said that he sees himself in his students, but, more importantly, he understands that the Attollo participants will grow up to be the leaders of the future. “To think about the power of this ecosystem we’re building, which is filled with a bunch of people who are high performers. … They’re committed to being there for others. To me, that’s just the world that we want to build,” Steffy said.