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 King County in the future.

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:

Becoming A Man

Core Values

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. 


Youth Guidance is delighted to partner with Highline Public Schools to launch its nationally celebrated Becoming A Man (BAM).

Originally starting out as a licensed program with community partners in King County, in 2023, Highline Public Schools and Youth Guidance made the move to direct replication of BAM in Seattle.

Programming currently takes place in 4 schools (2 middle and 2 high schools), Chinook and Sylvester middle school and Highline and Tyee high schools.


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


Highline Public Schools in Seattle (HPS) navigated the challenges of the COVID-19 closures with resilience and adaptability. During the closure, the district swiftly transitioned to remote learning to ensure continuity in education while prioritizing the safety and well-being of students, teachers, and staff. Highline implemented comprehensive distance learning plans, providing students with access to technology and resources necessary for remote instruction. Additionally, the district focused on supporting the emotional and mental health needs of students and families, offering counseling services and virtual community-building activities to maintain a sense of connection during the prolonged closure period.

As the schools gradually reopened and returned to normal services and programs, HPS prioritized a smooth transition for students, faculty, and staff. The resumption of programs like BAM underscored the district’s commitment to holistic education and student development. BAM, an evidence-based program aimed at supporting young men in overcoming challenges and fostering positive behaviors, was reintegrated into the school curriculum with a renewed emphasis on social-emotional learning and community building. Through tailored interventions and mentorship, HPS seeks to empower students with the skills and support systems necessary for success both inside and outside the classroom.