Rite of Passage was founded in 1984 when psychiatric technician Dave Maguire observed that youth placed at Napa State Hospital weren’t responding well to the conventional institutional paradigm. He believed that a normalized, strengths-based approach would offer them a greater chance of recovery.
Dave Maguire’s foundational principles of positive relationship-building and experiential learning guided the development of Rite of Passage’s initial program, a small group home in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. In emphasizing the importance of prosocial interactions, skill development, and personal achievement, the first Rite of Passage programs helped youth reclaim agency, own their recovery process, build critical resiliency skills, and establish core strengths.
Today, Rite of Passage continues to grow and adapt, utilizing emerging data-driven research and disciplinary best practices to provide a comprehensive continuum of evidence-based, trauma-responsive, individualized care for vulnerable and underserved youth, without losing sight of our foundational framework. With more than 40 programs in 15 states, our rigorous multimodal approaches assist and empower youth in becoming self, group, and community advocates.