Youth Guidance

four young men stand on a basketball court

Becoming A Man (BAM), the flagship program of Youth Guidance, is a school-based counseling and mentoring program that improves the social-emotional skills and behavioral competencies of young men—predominantly young men of color—in grades 6-12 who experience or at high risk of exposure to trauma. By fostering meaningful connection—with adults and peers—and developing emotional regulation, decision-making skills, interpersonal competencies and positive future orientation, BAM yields transformative outcomes for scholars[1], including a) improved school engagement and academic performance, b) decreased engagement with violence and other risky behaviors, and c) improved post-secondary success.

BAM is implemented by counselors, who are men of color and work within the school to deliver weekly group counseling sessions (called BAM Circles), provide mentoring and other individual support services, and to help build a supportive school climate that promotes the holistic development and success of scholars. BAM counselors utilize a two-year, trauma-informed, clinical curriculum that supports social-emotional learning, strengthens critical protective factors, and fosters pro-social behaviors through a structured approach that includes elements of cognitive behavioral therapy, character education, and men’s rites of passage.

[1] BAM Boston refers to program participants as scholars to promote positive identity and a culture of learning


This is Hestia's third year funding the Becoming A Man program at Youth Guidance. The two-year grant of $25,000 each year will support the school-based counseling and mentoring work of the program.