Project Empower

About Project Empower

Project Empower is a community-engaged initiative in which William & Mary students and faculty provide school-based support services in cooperation with Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools. All project staff are students at William & Mary along with a designated faculty director. Project Empower staff work with school personnel to support student needs through a mentoring program that is delivered in the school. 

Due to schools moving to virtual learning as a result of COVID, Project Empower currently offers these mentoring services virtually.

Mission of Project Empower

The mission of Project Empower is to provide preventative and responsive 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. Project Empower staff provide individual and group services along with classroom instruction to promote mindsets and behaviors conducive to healthy decision making and positive educational outcomes.

Core Values

Project Empower and its staff have a set of core values which drive all decisions. Below are these core values and a brief description.

Pursuit of Thriving:
  • We believe all school-aged youth hold the potential to thrive in their academic, social/emotional, and career and college development. We strive to dismantle the systemic barriers that inhibit students’ access to resources by providing interventions, advocacy, and dissemination of practice strategies designed to support students’ ability to thrive.
Mutual Empowerment:
  • We believe it is important to build relationships to foster growth and empowerment by identifying an individual’s strengths utilizing empathetic concern and authenticity. We strive to develop genuine relationships that attend to the complex and interconnected needs of individuals and our community at large. 
Integrity of Practice:
  • We believe in the utilization of research-informed practices for our programs. We strive to use evidence-based practices to meet the data driven needs for the recipients of our services.
Advocacy and Leadership:
  • We believe we are advocates for socially just causes that impact our program and our program recipients. We strive to be leaders in our local community and abroad.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:
  • We believe it is vital to seek out opportunities to enhance the inclusivity of our organization and the students we serve. We strive to increase the equity and access to our program to support the students with the greatest need.
Ethical and Competent Practice:
  • We believe it is of the utmost importance to encourage and engage in ethical and competent practice throughout all services we offer. We strive to monitor our practices and provide ongoing training to enhance service provision.
Professional Scholarship:
  • We believe it is our responsibility to advance practices and research related to helping students succeed in school and life. We strive to disseminate findings that enhance the profession and allow easier access to practical interventions for school-based practitioners locally and abroad.

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 meet with a Project Empower counselor by contacting the student’s school counselor. Project Empower staff can also be contacted by email at [[empower]].