Our organization was founded under the name Next Step - A MAP Program in 2010 by then Executive Director, Rajive Otah. Otah, who currently serves as our Board President, has a passion for uplifting communities through youth developmental programs.
As a long-time educator and athlete, Otah knew how essential these programs were for youth and what a shortage there was of high-quality, consistent programming in the communities who needed these opportunities the most. The organization was conceived and organized to address the social and educational needs of youth and to improve the quality of life of San Diego’s low-income students and families.
For more than ten years, our organization has created positive and rewarding experiences for the youth in our communities, enabling them to achieve their true potential. Across all our academic, athletic and career-readiness programming, our youth take their futures into their own hands by cultivating their own sense of empowerment, purpose and self-determination. It’s a great pride and honor to welcome many of our grown youth to come back as volunteers, staff and mentors for the next generation!
As we look forward to our future, we are deeply grateful for San Diego’s support and the ongoing investment in our work. Keep reading for some exciting news about what’s coming next!
You might have noticed we changed our name from Next Step - A MAP Program to Be Utmost, Inc. After ten years serving the San Diego community, we thought it was time to refresh our style. Our original name incorporated the acronym for the core philosophy underlying our organization’s programming:
The name served us well over the years as we developed relationships with schools and partners throughout the county. As the first decade of our work came to a close, we began to envision what our second decade would look like. We wanted a fresh name and a fresh look to bring us into the future as we grow and continue to adapt our programming to serve the generation.
Our transition to our new name is a work in progress, but our community has already taken it up as a whole way of life. “Be Utmost” is an attitude — it’s all about excellence and expressing yourself. We encourage our youth to embrace their self-determination, their own dreams and their best selves in all that they do. Our community strives to set an example by being utmost every day, uplifting one another and living our dreams as community leaders, coaches, teachers, entrepreneurs and life-long athletes.
...And, we don’t mind saying the Be Utmost logo looks pretty great on our new gear, too. Reach out on our Contact Us page if you’re interested in getting your hands on some new Be Utmost apparel!
There’s some paperwork and red tape involved with officially changing our name to Be Utmost, Inc. which is why you’ll continue seeing Next Step - A MAP Program until that’s all sorted. Amidst a global pandemic, paperwork for the IRS, state and local agencies, and continuing to serve our communities, the process has been a little slow. In the meantime, if you’re making a donation or want to look us up on GuideStar, you can always rely on our EIN: 27-1504068.
If you have any questions about the name change, don’t hesitate to reach out through our Contact Us page.