“During youth a blossoming and budding forth tries to happen from inside out as each young person encounters what is seeded in them and gifted in their soul.” – Michael Meade, Storyteller
SSP’s Mission is to guide and support youth and families across the threshold from childhood into healthy adolescence through contemporary rites of passage. Stepping Stones Project addresses the developmental needs of today’s youth by providing extended group mentoring and nature based experiences, helping them to develop a strong sense of self, a solid internal compass to navigate life’s challenges, and a deep connection to nature.
Stepping Stones Project began in 1999 when a number of independent rites of passage group leaders connected through their work with Spirit Rock Meditation Center’s teen program. This connection attracted additional mentors and youth leaders from other youth‐focused organizations. Inspired by the interest and demand from youth and their families, project founders developed a 2‐year Coming of Age program curriculum and launched the Stepping Stones Project as a 501(c)3 non‐profit in the winter of 2002. The success of the middle school Coming of Age program has provided the foundation for SSP to serve youth of all ages throughout the Bay Area.
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The Stepping Stones team is based on a village model of intergenerational council members working together in a shared vision to support youth in forging new connections to themselves, their community, and the environment.