Nineteen years old and new to Grand Rapids, Skyler Boeve was looking for her next steps. She knew she was passionate about making a difference in mental health, but needed support to find the right path for her.

“I had like a million different jobs I wanted,” Skyler said, “but no idea which one actually would work for me.” Then a friend told her that Step Year — WMCAT’s college and career exploration program — could help her. Skyler applied and began the program, knowing she had found the community of support she wanted.

Skyler (fourth from left) participates in a team-building exercise with Step Year peers and WMCAT staff during the program retreat.

“WMCAT helped me build the foundation of a network, that I could build to better myself.” Through Step Year, Skyler learned about the social work field, connected with local professionals, and charted her next steps.

“By the end of [my time at] WMCAT, I knew what would work for me and I knew how to do it.”

Now, Skyler is working in the mental health field at Hope Network and is enrolled at Grand Rapids Community College to study social work. “I don’t think I could have done that on my own without WMCAT.”

Learn more about Step Year at