Meet Our Team

Sunny Choi


Retired faculty member in Computer Science. She has been tutoring English to people from other cultures and countries for the last 20 years, most recently at the Literacy Volunteers of Charlottesville and Albermarle (LVCA). She aspires to empower and support the people who yearn to have a sense of belonging and help them become productive and to be a part of the society.

StepForward is born out of this aspiration and similar collective goals of the co-founders.

Lynda Fanning


Retired Director of Clinical Nutrition at University of Virginia Health System. StepForward resonates with the work of other groups she has joined: tutoring for LVCA, leading racial affinity groups with IMCC (Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville), and promoting food justice/health for all Virginians (Virginia Food System Council).

She especially values StepForward’s uniquely personal nature: instead of just trying to fix the problems of society, it focuses on individuals and on connecting them with others who can help guide them to both discern and then take steps toward their larger purpose.

Achla Marathe


Achla Marathe is a Professor at the Biocomplexity Institute and at the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia. Over the last few years she has been exploring ways to give back to the community to fulfill her own longstanding aspirations of serving people.

Her humble beginnings serve as her motivation to alleviate struggles of the underprivileged. She believes that empowering individuals by providing them the right opportunities and just a little support at a critical time can turn their lives around.