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Higher Pathways


Deciding which path to take after high school can be challenging for many students of color. Created in 2022, our Higher Pathways program is a direct path for Social Justice Learning Institute (SJLI) alumni to attain progress toward achieving educational, career, and economic growth through three parallel high-touch tracks:

Higher Pathways Track 1: College Pathway to Success

Our College Pathway to Success track supports SJLI alumni on their educational attainment journey. This includes college acceptance and enrollment, family financial aid workshops, SJLI scholarship support, school year planning sessions, summer college immersion experiences, and wraparound services to ensure alumni have a solid foundation to begin and finish their higher education path with a degree in hand.

Higher Pathways Track 2: Career Readiness and Persistence

The Career Readiness and Persistence track comprises workforce skill development, internship/externships/part-time opportunities during summer for alumni in college, direct career readiness and placement for those going into the workforce, and also entrepreneurial exploration.

SJLI team members stay connected with alumni to provide coaching, guidance, and support in a number of ways to help alumni find meaningful employment, such as: 

  • Professional Networking
  • Professional Writing Support
  • Mock Interviews
  • Workshops
  • Partnerships & Trade
  • Internships

Higher Pathways Track 3: Supportive Services

The Pathways Supportive Services provides wrap-around counseling sessions on an individual and small group basis to ensure positive, healthy engagement with their experience, as well as access to additional resources as needed for unforeseen incidents or emergencies.

We provide the following activities:

  • Frequent Contact

Program alumni stay connected with SJLI staff to check in on their socio-emotional needs and provide resources and support.

  • Alumni Engagement

Alumni engagement provides support to each other through resilience circles on subjects like mental health, motivational struggles, academic struggles, current events, and more. Additionally, alumni events include the annual basketball tournament, Breaking Bread and Ankles, cookouts and retreats, and A Different World. 

  • Support Groups

For alumni who may need different types of support, we offer support groups – a safe and accepting space for alumni to share experiences and challenges, and coping strategies.

  • Life Skills

Linking alumni to various resources such as driving, cooking, financial literacy, car buying, apartment renting and more can set them up for success as they grow into adulthood. 

  • Peer Mentorship

Alumni in college will be paired with a mentor through the mentoring programs that exist on their respective campuses. In addition, new alumni will be encouraged to develop strong relationships with older alumni to foster their development and growth.

  • Volunteer Advocacy

Community service is core to SJLI’s mission and we encourage alumni to participate in volunteer opportunities. Alumni can volunteer at SJLI and at various events, and in the community.

  • Resources

We provide linkage to services and programs for alumni so they have access to everything they may need to be successful. Resources can include housing support, child support, legal services, health navigation, financial literacy, and mental health services through Sunrise Therapy Center.

For more information on Higher Pathways, contact Educational Equity Programs Director Tyrone Cutkelvin at