About Us

girl-imageA STEP CLOSER FOUNDATION, INC. is a result and vision of attorneys Kendra Randall Jolivet and Yolanda F. Sonnier, partners of Randall & Sonnier, LLC. a law firm which represents children in abuse and neglect cases in Baltimore City, MD and surrounding counties.  Although the cases originate in Baltimore City, Randall & Sonnier has traveled to every county in the State of Maryland, as well as the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin and Missouri to visit and service their clients.

Through daily representation of children, Kendra and Yolanda became fascinated with the talents and potential of children, but found there were financial limitations to what the government could provide to foster the children’s abilities.  Kendra and Yolanda’s office began to assist children with services such as filling out financial aid forms, job applications, college applications, and other government forms.   Their law firm also paid for transportation for their clients staying on campus out-of-state to come home for breaks, prom expenses, singing lessons, clothes, and even underwear.  They have given gifts to their clients for birthdays, graduations, going away to college, getting their first apartment and aging out of the foster care system.

With the formation of A Step Closer Foundation, Kendra and Yolanda continue to spread their missions to benefit children involved in the child welfare system throughout the state of Maryland and across the United States. In the future, they envision helping on a larger scale by providing funds for internships, visitation centers, camps, housing, and scholarships in addition to continuing the services previously mentioned.

A Step Closer Foundation Board Members

President: Yolanda F. Sonnier Dissemination Chair: Judge Joseph H.H. Kaplan
Finance Chair: Kendra Randall Jolivet Secretary: Rhonda Lipkin
Vice President: Adam S. Cohen Board Member: Karen Hayward-West

ASCF, Inc. Initiatives

“Trash Bags to Travel Bags”

ASCF, Inc. provides foster care children with a suitcase/duffle bag to be filled with crayons, coloring and reading books and/or teddy bears, replacing the current common practice of youth transporting belongings in trash bags when changing homes.  With the support of donors and Community partners, Trash Bags to Travel Bags works to eliminate this negative message to children that they, and their belongings, are trash which can seriously affect the long term self-esteem of youth in this vulnerable population. Bags have been distributed at Child In Need of Assistance (CINA) court hearings, to group homes and directly to foster care youth at events such as the Annual Holiday Party for Children in Foster Care.

In the future, our long-term goals are to expand our “Trash Bags to Travel Bags” program to reach every foster child in the state of Maryland. If you or your business/organization would like to donate or partner with the Trash Bags to Travel Bags Campaign please contact our office at (410) 235-0351.

Annual Children’s Holiday Party for Foster Care Youth

Since 2001 A Step Closer Foundation, Inc. and Randall & Sonnier, LLC have co-sponsored an Annual Children’s Holiday Party for foster care youth in the community. Each December, a holiday gathering is held to ensure children have a day of fun and receive at least one gift during the Holiday season. Children living in various placements and group homes in the state of Maryland are invited to spend time with those who care for them as well as other youth and family members.  Children enjoy an afternoon of free activities, crafts, refreshments,2 or more gifts as well as a chance to win prizes. Numerous individuals, businesses and churches annually donate funds and gifts for the event.  These donations have allowed children to leave the parties with bicycles, computers, toy store gift cards, cameras, sports equipment and many other wonderful gifts.

* To make a donation, volunteer your time at an ASCF event, or for additional information about the annual holiday party for children in foster care please call 410-235-2119.

She Matters and He Matters

ASCF, Inc. fulfills the community need for positive role models and empowering outlets for all youth through our initiatives: She Matters & He Matters. She Matters and He Matters host educational seminars, fun-filled youth conferences, inspiring award ceremonies, and motivating summer business and leadership camps for girls and boys. Children are honored for their accomplishments, entertained, and mentored as we address the issues facing our youth today.

Our She Matters and He Matters programs cater to the specific needs of each gender and encourage youth to embrace life, face challenges, build positive self-esteem and fulfill their destiny!

Join the Movement~ Friend us on Facebook as “She Matters Too” & “HeMatters” for motivating quotes, the latest on upcoming events and pictures from past programs.