About Next Step

"Children with life threatening illnesses have many homes. Teens and young adults have none. Next Step fills this vacuum by providing life changing opportunities to young people."
-Paul Newman

The challenges of high school and the transition to adulthood can test any young person. For young people with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other life threatening diseases, these challenges can appear insurmountable.

In addition to fighting for survival, these young people encounter problems with growth, development and long term health issues. They often lag behind their peers at achieving even the simplest social milestones. Resources to help these youth become successful adults are few and far between.

To fill this urgent need, Bill Kubicek founded Next Step in 2001 with the support and guidance of the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman. Next Step retreats and workshops—all hosted at no cost to participants—provide resources, support and hope.

Our mission is to shatter limitations and elevate aspirations of teens and young adults living with life-threatening diseases during their transition to adulthood and into an adult healthcare system.

The Next Step mission is needed now more than ever as 90% of all youth living with a chronic life-threatening illness are living past the age of 21 and entering young adulthood without the support that they need.

Our programs are a place where young survivors feel safe enough to laugh, share experiences, and create a sense of community with peers who truly understand their unique challenges. We empower young people with the tools and knowledge they need to begin asking “what’s next?” instead of “why me?”