Youth Guidance is delighted to partner with Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services to launch its nationally celebrated Becoming A Man (BAM) program in Fall 2023. Programming will launch in schools across five communities: Sto-Rox, Penn Hills, Greater Wilkinsburg Area, South Hilltop and the Mon Valley.

BAM is a highly engaging school-based counseling & mentoring program that promotes social-emotional and psychological well-being, strong school engagement, and increased academic attainment for students in grades 6-12.

 Youth Guidance envisions a bright, healthy future for every student and looks forward to supporting students as they recognize and realize their potential. Our strategy includes plans to add additional school sites in Allegheny County in future years.

A Commitment to Reducing Violence

“We are extremely fortunate in this region to have so many different organizations and entities that engage and active when there is a need and addressing violence in our community is certainly no exception,” said Fitzgerald.

Becoming A Man® program (BAM®) is a school-based group counseling program that guides young men in 6-12th grades to learn, internalize and practice social cognitive skills, make responsible decisions for their future and become positive members of their school and community. BAM integrates clinical theory and practice, men’s rites of passage work, and a dynamic approach to youth engagement.

BAM is delivered by highly skilled and dynamic youth specialists, working full-time in schools to guide students as they learn, practice, and internalize social-emotional skills that correlate to positive long-term life outcomes. Students meet in weekly group counseling and mentoring sessions, called BAM Circles, that facilitate positive relationships and guide students through an exploration of six core values:

    BAM Core Values




    Positive Anger Expression

    Respect for Womanhood

    Visionary Goal Setting

    Click the following links to learn more about BAM and Allegheny County’s Department of Human Services Community Violence Reduction Initiative 


    Students enrolled in the BAM Program are:

    less likely to be
    arrested for violent crime
    more engaged
    in school
    more likely to graduate
    high school on time
    $ 30
    in societal gains for
    every $1 invested in BAM


    Schools & Communities served:
    • Greater Wilkinsburg Community – Westinghouse High School
    • Mon-Valley Community – Clairton High School
    • Penn Hills Community – Penn Hills High School
    • Sto-Rox Community – Sto-Rox High School
    • South Hilltop Community – Carrick High School and Brashear High School


    Andrew Johnson

    Executive Director | Greater Pittsburgh

    Andrew Johnson is an education and non-profit professional bringing more than 15 years of experience working in schools and communities to his role at Youth Guidance as the Executive Director – Greater Pittsburgh. His work focuses on educating, servicing, and supporting individuals from marginalized backgrounds through teaching, mentorship, modeling, program oversight, and creating strategic partnerships.

    Prior to Youth Guidance, Andrew served in a number of roles ranging from classroom teacher, coach, tutor, director, and executive director in the K-12, post-secondary, non-profit, and foundation sectors. Additionally, he has held leadership roles in coalitions focused on strengthening Allegheny County’s reentry ecosystem and improving health equity for the Black community across the state. Through his work, he has gained the aptitude and skills to bring about transformational change at the individual and systems levels.

    Andrew earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management from California University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s degree in Health & Physical Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctorate degree in Instructional Management & Leadership from Robert Morris University. He is a native of Southwestern Pennsylvania that enjoys spending time with family, adventuring in the outdoors, and improving his mental and physical health.

    Additional Information

    Program Fact Sheet
    2022-23 Program Information (English)
    2022-23 Información del programa (Spanish)

    Social Media