An aspiring author, TaKayla Brown is a storyteller at heart. When it came to writing the next chapter of her own life, though, she needed support to plan her future pathway. Step Year at WMCAT was there to help.

Step Year guides young adults through college and career exploration to create a plan that’s uniquely theirs, centering each student’s interests and goals along the way.

“I am a really shy person,” shared TaKayla. “But I like to step outside the box, to try something different.”

While TaKayla (right) and Shannon’s (left) kids were playing, the two authors got real about their stories.

She went on field trips and industry visits, learned more about herself, and built “a little family” with fellow students. TaKayla also met with entrepreneur and author Shannon Cohen to learn about her career path. Shannon encouraged TaKayla to start on her dream of writing a memoir now, affirming that she already has a story to tell.

While TaKayla puts pen to paper on her past experiences, she’s working toward the goals she made in Step Year. TaKayla has applied to Grand Rapids Community College in pursuit of a degree. “I feel like now is the time to really start doing everything that I want to do.”

Learn more about Step Year at