Learn about Pathways to Independence: A Solution that Works!


is a nonprofit foundation committed to empowering women. Pathways fosters girls who have suffered child abuse, domestic abuse, violence, alcoholism, addiction, and worse—transforming them into women leaders, who give back and empower more women.

Our Mission: To Help and Heal Abused Women

The Pathways mission is to foster profound and healing changes in the lives of young women who have been traumatized by their family and/or society.

Many come from alcoholic families and/or have struggled with chemical dependency themselves. Others are rape victims, incest victims, or have been subjected to other forms of sexual abuse and physical violence. Some have spent years in foster care or even became homeless.

Pathways’ goal is to break the cycle of abuse and enable these young women to become independent, self-sufficient members of society.

The Pathways Volunteers: Leveraging What’s Right in the World

The cornerstones of Pathways are professional therapy and a college education. Through its all-volunteer network of doctors, dentists, therapists, and other professionals—and through the much-needed donations of individuals and organizations—Pathways is able to provide these women with housing, healthcare, tuition, auto repair, and more. Most importantly, the “Pathways Family” provides the foundation of love and support required for emotional healing.

Client Accountability

Accountability is a key aspect of the Pathways to Independence scholarship program. The women in Pathways (referred to as “clients” as a term of respect) are required to maintain part-time jobs; commit to a full-time class schedule with a minimum GPA requirement; submit to intense therapy to help heal their childhood wound; and interact with a mentor/life coach every week. To be allowed into the program, each girl must deeply commit to changing her life.

Foundation History

Educators Dave and Joyce Bishop founded Pathways in 1991 to help a former student at the continuation high school where Dave worked. Monica was the product of a dysfunctional alcoholic family, and at age nineteen had a two-year-old daughter and no support. With the Bishops’ help, Monica was able to get advanced training and a full-time job with health benefits for her and her daughter. Pathways to Independence received 501(c)(3) status as a Public Charity in February, 1994. It is based in Orange County, California.

Success in Numbers

TeardropSince 1991, Pathways to Independence has served over 300 young women and can proudly say that 80% of women accepted into the program have graduated from college.

TeardropWith over 88% of all donations going directly to the women, Pathways funds its program with donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, and service clubs.

TeardropPathways women are supported by more than 300 community volunteers. Their volunteer roster includes 50+ medical professionals, 40+ licensed therapists, 10+ dentists & orthodontists, and a growing list of attorneys, printers, mechanics, accountants, and other professionals. All of these professionals generously donate their services free of charge.