Pathways to Excellence is an analytical, philosophical, and behavioral system which began formal development in November, 1968. Although the Program has been utilized in a wide range of professional settings, the primary focus to date has been
children in juvenile hall, the Inner City, or within California's Group Home system for abused and neglected minors. A major intellectual premise of the Program is the belief that each individual, regardless of his or her station in Life and other chance variables, has the ability to achieve Excellence, which is defined within the Program as: functioning at the highest overall Life level one is capable of, given the skills and intellect of the individual. The level at which one starts is irrelevant, since Excellence is measured against absolute standards which apply, in a unique manner, for each individual.
Among the fundamental principles of the Program is the belief that there are formulae which apply with precision to matters such as mental development, personal improvement and individual growth, and that these formulae have universal application among all people. For example, Pathways to Excellence approaches the human brain anatomically in a manner quite similar to other muscles, and directs teaching strategies, and brain development through this perspective. This intellectual approach to the brain has been tested, and implemented over a twenty five year span at a wide range of distinct intellectual levels within organized Society, including: a law school curriculum; a curriculum for maximum security juveniles in lock up; at a multidimensional level in a paralegal college curriculum; and within the group home system for probation and abused children. The results confirming the muscular nature of the brain have been conclusive. For this reason, and given the massive impact of the brain on the overall quality of one's Life, it is incorporated as a particularly unique fundamental principle of the Program.
While the Program has many applied philosophies, it is understood that for success to be achieved with the children generally served by Pathways to Excellence, there must first be an intellectual breakthrough of some kind, which gives the children Hope. Something that shows them that there is Life beyond all of the negative illusions repeatedly placed before them. Once this occurs, there is fuel for the Journey. Enrichment activities have been of critical importance in the success of the Program in breaking down these barriers for our children. Pathways to Excellence is indebted to many wonderful and talented individuals who have provided spectacular services to the children and the Program, in the fields of yoga, philosophy and film. The impact of such activities can be best explained by Plato's Allegory of the Cave which brilliantly captures how a limited perspective can be created and crippling; but that in an instant, that limited perspective can be shattered, bringing enlightenment. There are many ways to break down this critical barrier, and doing so is a constant goal of the Program.
A comprehensive application of the Pathways to Excellence structure to the areas of juvenile crime, juvenile justice, and suggested responses to these matters, is posted in Phase IV on this Web site .