Project Empower

Mission of Project EMPOWER

The mission of Project Empower is to provide preventative and responsive counseling services that address the interpersonal, emotional, and academic needs of students at the designated sites. Project Empower works in collaboration with Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools along with each site’s administrators, teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, and social workers. Student counselors provide individual and group counseling services along with classroom instruction to promote mindsets and behaviors conducive to healthy decision making and positive educational outcomes.

About Project Empower

Project Empower is a community engaged initiative in which W&M students and faculty manage Student Assistance Programs in cooperation with the Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools. All project staff are graduate or doctoral level students at W&M along with a designated faculty director. Project Empower staff work with school personnel to support student needs. Currently, we have staff at Jamestown High School, Lafayette High School, and Warhill High School.

Project Empower counselors provide individual and group services for a wide range of student needs. Topics discussed with Project Empower counselors during sessions vary but oftentimes include anxiety, social/interpersonal problems, sadness, stress, and academic concerns. Additionally, Project Empower counselors can help screen for and identify symptoms of substance abuse and severe mental health concerns. When appropriate, the program provides referrals to students and their families for specialized services in the community.

Students work with their Project Empower counselor to identify psychoeducation based goals for counseling. Some examples of common goals include the development of effective coping skills, improved communication with peers, teachers, and family, enhanced academic study skills, and increased motivation for academic engagement. Project Empower also provides transitional support to new or retuning students who have been out of school for an extended period of time.

If a student would like to talk with a Project Empower staff member, they should contact their school counselor to set up an initial meeting. Similarly, school staff and parents/guardians can request that a student/child meet with a Project Empower counselor by contacting the student’s/child’s school counselor. Project Empower staff can also be contact by email at [[empower]].