Youth Passageways (YPW): The Education for Our Times

We help regenerate healthy passages for today’s youth into mature adulthood.

We do this by

  • Establishing an intergenerational and cross-cultural community of practice, we are growing rites of passage as a meaningful, recognizable, and necessary field of youth development, with implications for the education, social service, and mental health sectors.
  • Building a globally-interconnected network of innovative efforts to youth development, YPW is creating a platform for the widespread access to information and education that will ensure that each young person has the opportunity to make the transition into adulthood in healthy, community-supported, and uniquely relevant ways.
  • Sharing the collective story of the essential role of rites of passage in healthy human development throughout the lifespan and building strong communities, we are building a social movement that has the power to transform society on a large scale, from changes on a local level to issues that affect us as a globe.

Vision Statement

As we confront an unparalleled global crisis — what many are calling a time of collective initiation — there is a growing recognition that the revitalization of rites of passage has the potential to play a leading role in the renewal of our communities and the human family.

We come together, strengthened by our diversity, in service to this shared vision:

  • Our communities are imbued with the elements of healthy, life-affirming, and meaningful culture, and all have access to basic resources including clean air, clean water, fresh food, meaningful work, healthy ecosystems, and rights to self-determination.
  • Our youth have access to initiated family and community members, and elders to mentor them.
  • The unique gifts and vital energies of adolescents are nurtured in support of the whole of community; youth feel a sense of voice and efficacy in shaping the communities they will inherit.
  • Our elders are valued and deeply integrated into community life, with abundant opportunities to share their wisdom.
  • Individuals across the lifespan have access to meaningful experiences, integrated within the fabric of their community, that nurture their development as whole human beings (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual) and help them navigate critical initiatory moments.
  • Authentic, meaningful cross-cultural exchange occurs within the context of community sovereignty, respect for cultural protocols, and honoring requests for privacy.
  • Parents are surrounded by circles of support as they navigate their own, and their children’s, changing needs.
  • Practitioners of youth initiation engage in a rich exchange of mentorship, resources, and training with peers and elders in communities around the world.
  • Initiation and rites of passage are a central and integrated part of education and youth development practice.
  • Values of responsibility to Earth and future generations are shared as a foundation that can sustain us.