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Pathways to Independence

 P.O. Box 43
 Los Alamitos, CA 90720
[P] (949) 302-2011
[F] (562) 493-9048
[email protected]
Goretty Ramos
 Printable 1 Page Summary
 Printable Profile
Organization DBA Pathways to Independence
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
Employer Identification Number 33-0148082 00000


Mission StatementMORE »

Pathways to Independence is committed to transforming the lives of disadvantaged, single young women through education, therapy, mentoring, housing, and healthcare to break the cycle of poverty and abuse.

Coming from diverse backgrounds of neglect, violence, foster care and homelessness, Pathways to Independence participants work towards becoming self-sufficient members of society through obtaining a college education, healing and becoming empowered.

Mission Statement

Pathways to Independence is committed to transforming the lives of disadvantaged, single young women through education, therapy, mentoring, housing, and healthcare to break the cycle of poverty and abuse.

Coming from diverse backgrounds of neglect, violence, foster care and homelessness, Pathways to Independence participants work towards becoming self-sufficient members of society through obtaining a college education, healing and becoming empowered.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year 2019
Projected Expenses $1,742,737.00
Projected Revenue $1,700,850.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Pathways to Independence

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Pathways to Independence is committed to transforming the lives of disadvantaged, single young women through education, therapy, mentoring, housing, and healthcare to break the cycle of poverty and abuse.

Coming from diverse backgrounds of neglect, violence, foster care and homelessness, Pathways to Independence participants work towards becoming self-sufficient members of society through obtaining a college education, healing and becoming empowered.

Background Statement

Pathways to Independence exists to give support and resources for a successful and fulfilling future to young women who are on a transformative journey. This is accomplished by providing them with a support team dedicated to their success and engaging a network of service providers to address barriers. This team approach allows the young women to attend college, and to heal from past abuse, empowering their choices and ensuring their future careers. Participants are in the program approximately 3-5 years with an average annual cost of $29,000 per client, per year. Medical and dental visits, counseling and automobile services are provided pro-Bono, however, fees for lab work, prescriptions, tuition and school fees, housing support and transportation are paid by Pathways to Independence.

The efficiency of the program can be measured by the successful graduation of over 300 participants during the past 27 years. Many graduate with outstanding GPA’s, and all of the young women maintain a GPA of 2.5 or better. The majority of Pathways to Independence clients have joined helping professions as a way to give-back to their communities, two graduates are serving on the Board of Directors.

The incredible transformations that occur within the young women served by the program motivate many volunteers to continue dedicating their time to the mission and vision of Pathways to Independence. One graduate makes evident what supporters of the program have witnessed when she shares, "I cannot express my gratitude entirely, but I can highlight a few of the things I love most about Pathways. Every person involved is incredibly dedicated to helping clients thrive. This program has the best cheerleaders (mentors, therapists, coordinators, service providers). Pathways puts the clients best interest above all else, and makes us feel loved, worthy, and important. Pathways embodies compassion, love, dedication, and above all, action. It is through Pathways' actions that I am alive today, that I am a successful, contributing member of society, and that I have peace within myself. I owe my life to Pathways and all of its members, providers, and supporters, and I am forever grateful.”

Impact Statement

Pathways to Independence has many powerful program accomplishments.
1. Of the women who enter the program, 80% graduate successfully, the majority obtaining diverse Bachelor’s Degrees in majors including Criminal Justice, Psychology, Social Work, Engineering and many others.

2. The women who complete the program are successful contributors to society, with a large majority entering fields of human service, social work, teaching, nursing and psychology, careers where they can directly give to others. Graduates also serve by becoming Board Members, Mentors and Coordinators of the Pathways to Independence program. The impact of Pathways to Independence is evident in what one graduate shared when she said, "Pathways to Independence has completely changed the woman I am today from the inside out. Before Pathways I was lost and broken. Today, I have worth, I have value, and I have meaning. This program has provided me, not only with the gift of education, financial, and emotional support, but also with the most precious gift of finding my true self. Today, I am a strong and independent young woman. Today I am a graduate student pursuing my Master's degree in Counseling, in hopes to help others also find their voice and themselves."

3. The organizational structure of Pathways to Independence is unique in that it is widely supported by a network of close to 300 volunteers - most of whom have been volunteering for over 10 years. The group of volunteers dedicated to the mission of Pathways to Independence includes over 100 professionals who are doctors, dentists, therapists, optometrists, accountants and attorneys, all of whom provide their services pro-Bono to participants. There are 75 volunteers who provide mentorship and coordination of program services, and 95 volunteers who support fundraising efforts.

The primary goal of Pathways to Independence is to support young women as they transition from backgrounds of trauma and poverty to educated, contributing members of their communities.

In 2019, Pathways to Independence has three major goals:

1) The addition of a full-time program coordinator to support and improve on direct services to our clients and their education goals.

2) Raise over $700,000 at the annual fundraiser held in October, ensuring the funding support required to continue the program’s valuable mission.

3) Maintain a budget that allows us to continue providing program support as well as covering building repairs, like installing a new roof, or others as needed. Out of 42 active participants, 33 currently find a safe and secure home, as well as a sense of community, while residing in the Pathways to Independence apartments.

Needs Statement

Pathways to Independence was founded to specifically address the needs of young women who experienced abuse and neglect, by minimizing the barriers they face, as they work towards becoming whole and independent. The seriousness of the need is reflected, not only in the increasing number of applications received, but in the data which show the increase in the percentage of poverty in Orange County over time. Statistically 50% of clients come from alcoholic families, 60% are victims of sexual abuse, 70% have been chemically dependent, 70% come from domestic violence, and 60% experienced homelessness.

The most pressing needs is to:

1) Continue to raise $1,700,000 annually to provide current services to the young women in the program until they graduate.

2) Raise $50,000 in additional funds to support a program coordinator who will assist in assessing and developing direct services, to improve on the program currently provided and to ensure the continued success and growth of our services and all those who benefit from it.

3) To raise approximately $50,000 for new client services such as life skills and healthy relationships workshops and educational conferences.
 4) To raise an additional $300,000 to provide maintenance and repair of our residential buildings where 33 clients are safely housed. Repairs include a new roof, as well as replacing water heaters and other wear and tear.

CEO Statement

Pathways to Independence is a unique program focused on both the academic success of participants, and their inner healing from trauma. The strength of Pathways to Independence comes from the dedication and generosity of its funders and volunteers who recognize the value of the program and the incredible, life changing benefits to both the participants and their communities. Despite their difficult pasts, the young women of Pathways to Independence inspire pride and admiration, with resilience and purpose they create a brighter future.

Board Chair Statement

Since its inception in 1991, Pathways to Independence has supported single young women without children - an underserved population of the Long Beach and Orange County communities. The program is a rigorous one with high standards for developing life skills, building confidence, affirming character and empowering participants through commitment to an educational path. The generosity of volunteers, professionals, foundations and donors give the heart wrenching stories of these women a happy ending.

Other Ways to Donate/Volunteer

All donations can be made by contacting us at our website. At the website you can find ways to donate, volunteer, mentor as well as financially support us.You are invited to attend any of our events, including those sponsored by Friends of Pathways. Their information is also found on our website under the "Friends of Pathways" tab.  Visit our website to see where to mail a check or provide an in-kind donation. Please contact us directly at [email protected]  When you give, you receive!

Geographic Area Served

West Orange County
Central Orange County
North Orange County
South Orange County
80% of our young women live in Orange County, predominately in Huntington Beach as we have two apartment buildings there housing two-thirds of our clients. Others live near the universities or colleges they attend. These include Cal State University Fullerton, Golden West College and Orange Coast College. The remaining live near Long Beach Community College and Cal State University Long Beach.

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Higher Education
  2. Housing, Shelter - Housing Support
  3. Health Care - Health Support



Pathways to Independence

Pathways to Independence is a comprehensive program providing education, health care, counseling, mentoring, housing and automotive support to women living below the poverty level. While in receipt of this support, these young women commit to a program of education that will lead them to social and financial independence.
Currently 45-50 young women are in the program, all who have suffered poverty. 70% are recovering from chemical dependency, 60% have experienced sexual abuse and have specialized therapists treating that issue and about 60% of our clients have experienced homelessness. Clients remain in the Pathways program approximately 3-5 years, the large majority receiving a Bachelor's degree.
Since inception, Pathways to Independence  has operated with a relatively high program efficiency ratio (program services / total expenses), which averages 80%.  This reflects the tremendous contributions from close to 300 volunteers.  No one who serves on the Board of Directors receive any remuneration. 

Budget  $1,100,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Postsecondary Education
Population Served Females Adults At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 
Short-term program success is measured incrementally throughout a client's time in Pathways to Independence.  First, as clients enter the program, they are matched with a mentor.  After 2 months, they complete a survey rating how they feel it is going with their new mentor.  Our goal is that 100% of our clients will feel their mentor is someone with whom they will be able to develop a positive relationship.  Second, clients develop a full-time Education Plan with the assistance of our Education Director.  They review it with their mentor and check off classes taken as they progress through their plan. By the end of each semester, 95% of our clients will have completed their agreed upon coursework with a 2.5 GPA or better, about 40% of clients maintain a GPA at or above 3.5. Third, clients attend weekly therapy with their assigned pro-Bono therapist to work on their healing and growth. Fourth, clients are required to maintain a part-time job.
Program Long-Term Success  Long term success is measured by the number who complete the program. Over 300 have been helped by Pathways to Independence.  80% of those who enter the program, graduate from college and become successful.
At graduation celebrations, all clients and mentors attend as well as many service providers.  Each honored graduate shares what she has overcome to be who she is today.  A recent graduate said, "Prior to acceptance into Pathways, I was barely living. My life consisted of sleeping in my car and being in survival mode to make it through each day.  Upon acceptance I was assigned a mentor, a therapist, a medical doctor, dentist and car mechanic. I was given a monthly stipend that allowed me to pay rent for my own studio apartment, a place where I felt safe. Today  I am no longer a broken little girl who survives each and every day. Today I am a woman who holds her head up high and thrives." She is now in medical school becoming a Nurse Practitioner.   
Pathways provides a network of support and encouragement to allow the young women in the program to become empowered.
Program Success Monitored By  The evaluation process to determine program success has multiple steps held by many individuals. Checks and balances occur throughout a client’s journey to ensure she is on track and successful.
Internally, outcomes and progress are monitored through:1)  Clients weekly contact their mentor providing updates on how they are doing. 2)  Monthly, mentors submit a report reviewing client's attendance at school, therapy and work. 3) Quarterly, therapists report on clients attendance at sessions. 4) At the end of each semester, clients submit a copy of their report card. Clients in their first semester of college or with GPAs lower than 2.5, submit 2 sets of progress reports within the semester.
Program outcomes are measured by the number of clients graduating with a degree in their chosen fields of study.   
The multiple steps in the evaluation process hold clients accountable and provide numerous opportunities for interventions if needed.
Examples of Program Success  These examples from graduates illustrate program success:
•    Formerly sexually abused, alcoholic and homeless. Now in medical school.
•    Formerly in prison with 2 strikes. Now Magna Cum Laude graduate working for the government.
•    Formerly abuse victim, gang member, meth addict. Now sober 10 years, married with children and completing a Master’s Degree.
•    Formerly pregnant by a drug dealer at age 15. Now a practicing attorney in Orange County helping women in similar situations.
Each of these young women came without a place to live.  One lived in her car, one was just released from prison, one came from a homeless shelter and one was living with acquaintances on the streets. When  admitted they had a safe place to live so they could concentrate on healing and learning.  They are now transformed, successful and giving back. They leave realizing that Pathways is a gift. There is nothing to pay back, just help others by paying it forward.


CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Goretty Ramos
CEO Term Start June 2016
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Goretty Ramos obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Women Studies from UC Irvine and has since been on a mission to help nonprofits build effective, sustainable programs. Her unique and relevant experience of 14 years includes advocating for survivors of abuse; specifically, survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. Goretty has been dedicated to trauma-informed services through her work with the Family Violence Intervention Services at the LA LGBT Center; and prior to that she was the Director of Programs for Women Shelter of Long Beach, where she honed her strategic planning and program assessment skills.


Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
David Bishop Jan 1991 Apr 2016
None -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mrs. Goretty Ramos Executive Director --


Award Awarding Organization Year
1 of top 10 charities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties Classy Awards 2010


Affiliation Year
-- --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Pathways to Independence is well connected with the community and has partnerships that provide assistance and support. The network of over 100 professionals from the community donating their services with more being added as they learn of the program, is an example of collaboration and integration. Volunteers are contacted at set times to see how they are doing as well as if they have questions or comments to improve how the program works. Clients are encouraged to write "Thank you" notes to service providers. Receiving a personalized thank you note from a grateful young woman serves as a great motivator in keeping our source of professional volunteers.

In addition, as a volunteer driven charity, Pathways to Independence collaborates with hundreds of individuals and businesses within the community as well as other charities and agencies who share similar concerns. These include, but are not limited to: Precious Life, Interval House, the Lynn House and the Ashland-House.

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 1
Number of Part Time Staff 3
Number of Volunteers 275
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100%
Staff Professional Development Yes

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 4
Male: 0
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No

Risk Management Provisions

Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Government Licenses


CEO Comments

Pathways to Independence is able to succeed in its mission thanks to the dedication and support of the many volunteers who donate their time and energy to the success of the young women in the program as direct service providers and fundraisers.
A network of about 75 volunteers provide support to clients as mentors; client and education directors; various coordinators including therapy, tutoring, medical services and automobile etc.; as well as client treasurers. These wonderful volunteers form part of the support teams that ensure each client is able to advance and thrive. 
We also depend on the professional support of close to 100 volunteers such as therapists, dentists, optometrist, mechanics and other professionals who generously donate their services to the deserving women in our program.
In addition to the volunteers and providers who ensure the success of Pathways to Independence with their direct services to clients, we are fortunate to count on the support of close to 100 volunteers who year after year ensure we have a successful fundraiser event in October where over half of our annual budget is raised.

Foundation Comments



Board Chair Mrs. Elizabeth Hogrebe
Board Chair Company Affiliation Educator
Board Chair Term Jan 2018 - Dec 2019
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term July - July

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Jeff Barke M.D. Emeritus Member Physician NonVoting
Raymond Cervantes -- Voting
Will Droun Business man Voting
Lisa Fluke Executive Legal Assistant Voting
Susan Gowin Community Volunteer Voting
Jerry Green Community Volunteer Voting
Nikki Harris LCSW -- Voting
Dave Hatton Ph.D -- --
Diana Hill Business woman Voting
Elizabeth Hogrebe -- --
Tracy Hutton -- --
Tiffony Jacobs -- Voting
Janica Jesson -- Voting
Ron Murrey -- --

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Additional Board Members and Affiliations

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 11
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: --
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 8
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 6
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 62%
Board Orientation Yes

CEO Comments

The Board of Directors for Pathways to Independence is transitioning from a working board to a governing board. Close to 65% of board members are also volunteer mentors, directors, coordinators, or treasurers for our clients. Board members must be elected on a yearly basis, for up to six consecutive terms. All board members must also actively participate in a board committee of their choice. 

Foundation Comments


Standing Committees

  • Board Governance
  • Building
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Program / Program Planning


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $1,168,183 $1,381,191 $1,256,071
Total Expenses $1,328,705 $1,407,761 $1,214,140

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Revenue By Revenue Source
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$499,378 $643,889 $639,729
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $96,843 $114,283 --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $248 $2,249 $3,371
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $571,714 $620,770 --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- $612,971

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Expense By Type
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $1,131,970 $1,180,955 --
Administration Expense $196,735 $145,818 $82,793
Fundraising Expense -- $80,988 --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- $1,131,347
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.88 0.98 1.03
Program Expense/Total Expenses 85% 84% 0%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 6% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $6,678,498 $6,884,348 $6,939,487
Current Assets $1,491,068 $1,584,822 --
Long-Term Liabilities $179,311 $235,059 $263,628
Current Liabilities $5,653 -- --
Total Net Assets $6,493,534 $6,649,289 $6,675,859

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 263.77 inf nan

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 3% 3% 4%
Endowment Value --
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

CEO Comments


Foundation Comments

Summary financial data is per the Form 990s and consultation with the organization. Foundation/corporate and individual contributions are combined under Foundation and Corporation Contributions.



Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.