FAQs & Testimonies
1. Is STEP a girl’s ALERT program?
The STEP Program is a challenging learning experience on all levels – spiritually, physically, and emotionally – but it is very different from ALERT. It does have a disciplined and structured emphasis on being a Godly woman.
2. Where can I find an application?
STEP Application Package
3. Can I send in my application via fax?
Yes. The number is: 903.636.2013
4. Can my 14-year-old daughter come this year?
No. The age limit is set at 15 years of age because of the maturity that is needed for the instruction given. A girl’s 14th year is usually when they are willing to put away childish behavior and begin acting more mature. STEP is also demanding physically, mentally, and spiritually and requires dedication to complete. An exception to this rule may be given if your daughter turns 15 during the program.
5. Do I get a discount if I have more than one daughter attending?
There is a discount available for the second daughter applying the same year as the first daughter. Call the STEP office for details. 903.636.9211
6. Do we have to be enrolled in the ATI program to be accepted into the STEP program?
No. Being enrolled in the ATI home school program is not a prerequisite to attend STEP.
7. Can you accommodate dietary differences?
We serve a wide variety of foods at IAA from which your daughter can choose what she is able to eat. We cannot serve ‘specialty’ foods (i.e. soy milk, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.). If she needs a certain type of food, you will need to arrange with STEP staff on how that can be done, as she will need to bring her own supplies.
8. Can friends room together during STEP?
Sometimes we are able to accommodate friends. Due to available space, it may not be the same room, but maybe the same suite. If they room together, they tend to lack in developing friendships with others and also tend to lose the team vision.
9. Why the restriction on cell phones?
Use of cell phones and any other communication devices are limited during the STEP training period. They provide many opportunities for unneeded distractions. If you bringing a cellphone for traveling to and from IAA, they will need to be checked in at registration when you arrive and can be picked up when you sign out at the end of training. You may use your phone during the program to call home. It will need checked out before you use it and checked back in after you are finished.
10. How often will my daughter be able to call home?
Your daughter will be able to call home upon her arrival to IAA, and then on Sunday afternoons or evenings. Any extra time during the week is based on Scripture memory work completion. All calls are limited to 10 minutes, unless permission is given to exceed limits.
11. Will my daughter be required to wear pants (or skirts…) during the entire four-week program?
Skirts are required to encourage the girls to remain feminine in an active lifestyle. Pants are required for certain activities (such as rappelling) for safety or practicality reasons. Your daughter will be given direction as what to wear and when the appropriate times will be.
12. Where can I find khaki skirts the length you are specifying?
Wal-Mart, Chadwick’s (catalog), and second hand clothing stores are probably the most commonly used stores. Some girls sew their own skirts the proper length (covers knees while sitting, even with knees crossed).
13. Will the modest swimwear (shorts-length & t-shirt sleeves) I made for my daughter function for the water uniform?
Yes. You may contact STEP staff at 903.636.9211 with any further questions concerning swimwear.
14. How physically fit does my daughter have to be before coming?
The girls will be very active during training, walking several miles a day, and participating in daily physical training as well. The ladies are encouraged (but not required) to begin a physical activity routine before arrival. Some suggested activities would include a base level of walking a mile every day, running ten minutes without stopping, and various amounts of abdominal crunches, flutter kicks, push-ups, and aerobic-style exercises. Maintaining a regular exercise routine that fits your lifestyle is the goal.
15. Is everything essential on the packing list?
Yes, unless otherwise marked, “optional”.
16. Can local or IAA staff families visit with their daughters during STEP training?
We prefer parental/family contact to be contained within phone conversations and letter writing during the training period. A visit disrupts the scheduled activities, may prevent the student from achieving the day’s goals, and may cause homesickness in other girls. We appreciate your understanding in this area, and your willingness to work with us towards the total success and well being of your daughter during STEP.
17. What if my daughter gets sick or needs a doctor during training?
We have staff members on campus that are trained in emergency response. They will be available to advise and administer treatment with most minor injuries. At your direction we can seek further medical attention from local facilities that may be needed for your daughter. It is important that you send your family insurance information with her.
18. Can I talk to other parents of STEP girls before I enroll my daughter?
Yes. There are parents of STEP alumni that are available to answer any of your questions you may have. Please contact the STEP office at 903.636.9211.
19. How hot does it get in Texas during the summer?
The weather in Texas varies greatly from year to year. Temperatures can range from the low 80’s to 100 degrees. We have storm shelters and planned evacuations if the need ever arises for any weather-related emergencies. We plan to have a good time filled with learning experiences, no matter what the weather!
“Going to STEP was a dream come true! I loved all the challenges. God taught me so much through these experiences!” –Teresa Rhinehart
“My desire is to be a missionary nurse to India to care for the sick. I decided to come to STEP to learn life skills I could use on the mission field, and to build a spiritual foundation of Biblical truth in my life.” –Karady Jorg, New Mexico
“I looked into other programs for young women, but I was really impressed with the spiritual emphasis at STEP, and the level of physical training that is offered. It’s really unlike any other program out there.
“I’m excited about learning household and vehicle maintenance, along with rappelling, and becoming certified in Basic First Aid and CPR.” – Kim Whitteberry, Michigan
“I came to better my relationship with the Lord. STEP was also appealing because I love outdoor activities and I wanted to learn how to work with a team.” –Anna Lee, Hong Kong
“STEP is some of the best training I’ve had. Not only have I learned emergency skills, it has also been a great time to grow spiritually in my walk with the Lord. I encourage all girls to pray and see if this is where the Lord might be leading you!” –Rebekah Curtis
“STEP was totally an awesome time for me. It definitely boosted my confidence through Christ—physically, spiritually, and mentally. STEP stretched me in all ways and was a tool that God used to help me grow.” –Priscilla Chapman, Texas