The Stepping Stones Project
The Stepping Stones Project's mission is to guide and support youth through long term mentoring and contemporary rites of passage. Our vision is to create future generations of authentic, integrated human beings committed to healthy, heartfelt relationships with self, friends, family, community and nature. Middle school marks a critical period in a young person’s development. During this time, youth leave the complete dependence of childhood to take their first steps on the road toward adulthood. The Stepping Stones Project creates a much- needed support system, for youth and their parents, providing opportunities to fully explore this important transition. Young people are consciously or unconsciously taking their first steps toward fulfilling the universal need for initiation. Along the path to maturity, youth experience the need to form tribes, mark themselves and flirt with danger. Without guidance in this process, they will self-initiate — tribes become cliques and gangs; marking becomes a private culture of symbols through fashion and technology; experiencing danger becomes high-risk behavior.