You Can Help Us Get a Diploma
Pathways’ students are creating positive change in themselves and their communities! Since 1995, opportunity youth in Petersburg, VA and the surrounding region have earned their diploma, gone on to college, completed job credentials, developed specialized skills, volunteered in their neighborhoods, built affordable housing, and run voter registration drives.
Students come to Pathways after leaving a traditional school setting because they are ready to build a brighter future for themselves. During their time with Pathways, students
Students gather these experiences and turn them into high school diplomas, jobs, college acceptance, and civic engagement.
Pathways is attacking poverty through educational and vocational training, job placement assistance, financial coaching, and life skills development. We believe people are more likely to succeed when they have a firm foundation to pursue their own goals. It sounds unprofessional, but our real innovations are love and trust. Pathways stands out from other organizations, many of which have failed our participants, because we choose to see value in each person before they even walk through the door. Our “holistic” approach is truly code for love and trust building, which is a breakthrough for our participants who have often been abandoned or ostracized.
Pathways serves a region that is 77% African-American, has a 25.8% poverty rate (10.7% in rest of Virginia), has a median income that is half of the state median, and its current unemployment rate is 17.2%. To serve this area, Pathways was born from an interfaith group of neighbors who saw their city’s opportunities instead of its weaknesses and began to build avenues for their neighbors’ success.
Pathways’ students say it best:
"I was at my lowest. That’s around the time I found Pathways.
I was in and out of jail for about two years. I had a little boy, but I was doing everything I shouldn’t.
When I first started going to Pathways I was headed down a wrong path that was leading me nowhere. I wasn’t really interested at first, but as the days went on, I actually wanted to go to school everyday to see Pathways’ staff and my classmates. I earned as many certifications as I could. Pathways gave me all the tools I need to succeed in the real world. You just have to want to use them!
The support I got at Pathways has encouraged me to support others. I enjoy going back to Pathways and volunteering and helping with activities like community meals, afforadablehomebuilding, and clean-ups.
There are two reasons I have a job now. First, because Pathways helped me get an internship that led to a job. Second, because I made the changes I needed to make to earn and keep a job.
I made a lot of good changes. I am able to be active in my son’s life again. I am applying to college to continue to move my career forward.
I will forever be grateful for Pathways because I really don't know where I would be without them."