• PATHWAYS: Counselor working with student

    The PATHWAYS Program provides culturally-sensitive individual and group counseling, family outreach and engagement, and consultation services for youth in the Boston Public Schools.

  • PATHWAYS: Student taking test

    The program is offered to students who are coping with significant life challenges that interfere with their ability to learn, function and thrive in school, at home, and in the community.

  • PATHWAYS: Diverse Students Graduating

    The program's primary objectives are to promote a supportive learning environment, enhance students' coping skills, and create pathways toward a bright and successful future.

The PATHWAYS Program

The PATHWAYS Program is a unique campus-community collaboration that provides mental health services to urban students in the Boston Public Schools. The partner organizations include William James College, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention Cruelty to Children, Eliot Community Human Services, and three Boston Public Schools—Urban Science Academy, West Roxbury Academy, and John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science.

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Our Mission

The program’s primary objective is to increase access for urban youth to school-based, culturally-sensitive, and trauma-informed mental health services that are aimed at raising students’ awareness of the impact of trauma on well-being, enhancing students’ positive coping skills, promoting students’ attitudes toward school engagement, increasing graduation rates, and improving the overall psychosocial well-being of urban youth.

Who We Serve

The program is offered to students who have experienced traumatic life events, exhibit disruptive behaviors in the school setting, are at risk of dropping out or failing to graduate, and are coping with significant challenges that interfere with their ability to learn, function and thrive in school, at home, and in the community. Clinical interventions are designed to teach positive behavior skills and strategies, and address the underlying causes of disruptive behaviors among urban students.

Services We Offer

The PATHWAYS Program provides psychosocial assessments, individual and group therapy, case management, and mentoring services. The program also offers school-based consultation services, family outreach and engagement, and referrals to outpatient and in-home therapy.

Other PATHWAYS Programs:

Mentoring Program

PATHWAYS offers a Mentoring Program to students enrolled at the West Roxbury Academy (WRA).  The main purpose of the program is to facilitate a mentoring relationship between students at WRA and graduate students from William James College. The mentor-mentee relationship is intended to help improve students’ academic engagement, academic confidence, optimism and emotional wellness. A key goal of the program is to create a safe and supportive environment where mentees can be comfortable asking their mentors for academic assistance; discussing barriers to achieving academic success; and learning from mentors about college, graduate school, and other career opportunities that are available post-high school.

Expressive Arts & Wellness Program

PATHWAYS also offers an expressive arts program that is designed to address social-emotional challenges that can interfere with students’ learning. Through a partnership with The Artful Life Counseling Center and Studio, the program provides arts-based group interventions to adolescents who are enrolled at the Urban Science Academy.

Urban Science Academy, the PATHWAYS Program and Artful Life Present: The Evolution of Me: An Art Exhibit

Practicum Training Program

The PATHWAYS Program offers practicum training experiences to graduate students in the fields of counseling, psychology, and social work.

Our Partnership with AmeriCorps-VISTA

William James College has received funding support from AmeriCorps/VISTA to host a full-time VISTA Member who will provide capacity-building assistance to the program and implement the following activities:

  1. Develop new initiatives that can meet the diverse needs of urban youth and families enrolled in the PATHWAYS Program;
  2. identify community-based resources that can supplement existing services;
  3. create training programs and workshops on parent outreach and engagement; and
  4. secure funding to increase the program’s capacity and sustainability.

AmeriCorps/VISTA Logo

For More Information

Please contact:

Gemima St. Louis, PhD 
Associate Professor and Director, The PATHWAYS Program 
William James College 
1 Wells Avenue, Newton, MA 02349
gemima_stlouis@williamjames.edu 
617-327-6777 x1241

Sheila Gomez, LICSW
Project Coordinator, The PATHWAYS Program
MSPCC, Eliot Community Human Services
sgomez@eliotchs.org