The Stamford Rites of Passage program assists students in learning about the significance of African and African-American heritage, to build academic confidence and close the achievement gap. 

Young people who go through this program form a healthier attitude to educational attainment and, consequently, are empowered to reach their full potential.

Questions regarding the program?  Travel sponsorship of a student? 



Sharon Wade

Communications Coordinator


Erica Virvo

Development Coordinator

Rites of Passage Cultural Festival a huge success!  Thank you to all our supporters.

If you would like to make a donation or sponsor a student on their journey to West Africa, please contact

Sharon Wade, Communications Coordinator at


ts Relevant Article - Rites of Passage Cultural Food Festival

Please visit our photo gallery for our Program and Travel slide show

Link to Application and Program Information

President Obama visited The Door of No Return on Goree Island.  A Time of reflection.  On July 15th we followed in his foot steps.

Congratulations to Mr. Bass and the Rites of Passage Program for receiving from the Educational Advancement Foundation the Salute to Excellence Community Education Award.  This award recognizes and acknowledges those in the community that have made a difference in non-traditional educational ways to create an environment where our youth can grow.  It takes a Village to raise a child!



The Rites of Passage Program is a Stamford Connecticut Public Middle School District supported program, designed to assist primarily, but not exclusively African-American students in accurately learning about and integrating the significance of their African and American heritages.


The coursework requires a fourteen-week literature review of African and African-American history replete with guest speakers and instructors, mandatory readings, journal writing, Power Point presentations, and a CMT/Cap style final exam.  The academic portion of the program culminates with a journey to West Africa.  We are excited to report that over the past five years, over one hundred students, parents and teachers have participated in an educational trip to Africa visiting Senegal, the Gambia, Ghana and Egypt.