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Hallways Home

Our Approach

At Hallways, we believe that the high rates of mental health issues and substance use experienced by young people living in affluent communities necessitates a redefinition of success to prioritize social and emotional health. Hallways partners with schools and families to prevent high-risk behaviors by promoting health, wellbeing, care for others and equity within affluent communities.  Our programming moves past antiquated ideas around scare tactics and one-time interventions to a focus on fostering communities that support the development and social and emotional health of young people. We know that the more that young people are taught to value themselves, empathize with others, seek out support when needed, and learn emotional regulation and decision-making skills, the more likely they are to engage in positive relationships, self-care, and healthy behaviors.

Hallways offers interactive, experiential programming for students, faculty, and parents. We are unique in our approach, incorporating the latest research on substance use prevention, positive youth development, and consent education/gender-based violence prevention, as well as a growing body of research that identifies young people growing up in the culture of affluence as a distinct group with their own unique strengths and risk factors.

Our Programming

Using research-based curricula and a strategic prevention framework, we provide services to school communities in three core areas: individual and grade-level social/emotional health assessments, skill building student workshops, and capacity building trainings for parents and educators. Hallways uses a Strategic Prevention Framework to identify the areas where young people need support and teach them skills that promote wellbeing and reduce substance use and other risky behaviors.

We design our programming using a social-ecological framework, with the belief that while our work with students is essential, it is also critical to engage with the parents and school faculty who influence so much of their lives. To that end, we offer a full range of programming at the student, faculty, and parent level. All of our programming is undertaken with the aim of ensuring that young people have the skills to support their wellbeing and form deep and meaningful connections with others, and that their communities are supporting their happiness, health, and sense of belonging.

Team

Rachel Henes, LMSW

Rachel Henes, LMSW

Director

Rachel directs the operations and programming at Hallways.  Rachel brings 15 years of experience developing and implementing prevention programs at local, national and international levels, with a particular focus on gender-based violence prevention.  Rachel has collaborated with many school communities in New York City to develop comprehensive prevention efforts that address issues such as bullying and harassment, dating violence, consent and sexual assault, and substance use.  Rachel has received anti-racist training from The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, and domestic and sexual violence prevention training from A CALL TO MEN and the NYC Relationship Abuse Prevention Program.  Rachel is passionate about working in partnership with schools to develop strategic, tailored approaches that promote social and emotional wellness and caring.

Rachel holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work.

Natalie Zuckerman, EdM

Natalie Zuckerman, EdM

Assistant Director, Strategic Prevention Programs

As Hallways’ Assistant Director, Natalie oversees the day-to-day operations of the school-based prevention program and its partnerships with 30 Independent Schools across the city to deliver high-impact programming that is tailored to the specific strengths and challenges that arise within each school community.  Natalie brings to her role a background in prevention science and over ten years of experience in the education and nonprofit sectors, working to develop, deliver and evaluate meaningful programs that build capacity for health and well-being. Natalie has worked with Making Caring Common (MCC), a research-based project designed to support educators, families and communities in promoting caring, kindness and a commitment to justice in children. She has anti-racist training from The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond and Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training.

Natalie holds a B.S. in Applied Psychology from New York University and a Masters in Prevention Science from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Desireé Caro, MSW

Desireé Caro, MSW

Consent Education Coordinator

Desireé received her MSW degree at Columbia University School of Social Work, where she focused on social enterprise administration and contemporary social issues.  At Hallways, Desiree facilitates evidence based social-emotional wellness workshops in the independent school community, and helps to develop the program’s gender based violence and consent education. Desireé also provides on-site education, prevention interventions, and consultation at one of Hallways’ partner schools. Desireé has a variety of experience engineering and delivering workshops, spanning from school based youth workshops to community organized gender and sexuality education for adults.  She feels strongly about the impact of social-emotional wellness education, and values the opportunity to work with youth during their transition to adulthood.

Sarah Zlotowitz, LMSW

Sarah Zlotowitz, LMSW

Program Manager, School Relations & Curriculum Development

Sarah Zlotowitz is Hallways’ Program Manager, School Relations and Curriculum Development. In this role, she designs meaningful learning experiences that cultivate social-emotional wellness and growth. Through programming that best suits the needs of each school community, Sarah supports students, families, and educators in learning evidence-based skills and mindsets aligned with prevention.  She is passionate about healthy adolescent development and firmly believes that when we all participate in social emotional skill building, we strengthen the foundation for student success in school and in life.

Sarah brings nearly a decade of experience in education and public health to her role. As a teacher, curriculum coach, and school social worker, she has worked with learners from K-12 in public schools and charter school networks along the East Coast. She has also worked as a counselor advocate for survivors of gender-based violence incarcerated at Rikers Island.  She holds a BA in Health & Community from Boston University as well as an MSW from Columbia University’s School of Social Work. She is an alumna of The Bryn Mawr School in Maryland.

Albery Abreu, MSW

Albery Abreu, MSW

Prevention Educator

Albery joined Hallways school-based training team as a part-time facilitator in 2017. With a special interest in working with teenagers, Mr. Abreu has worked as a facilitator for Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families Teen Accountability Program educating young men on healthy relationships, inspiring them to create their own positive definitions of masculinity, manhood, and strength. Additionally, he has been a peer educator and trainer with STEPS Relationship Abuse Prevention Program (RAPP), which partners with thirteen New York City high schools to provide students with outreach, education, and counseling on abusive relationships. Mr. Abreu has been a featured panelist, guest speaker, and trainer in various conferences and events in NYC raising awareness and speaking on violence against women, domestic violence, and working with teenagers impacted by domestic violence.

Hallways Classroom Facilitators

Hallways Classroom Facilitators

Staff

Classroom workshops are a cornerstone of our programming at Hallways. While every member of our team contributes to workshop facilitation, our core group of talented facilitators provide consistent and ongoing skill-based classroom learning. Each of our facilitators is up to date with the latest research and best practices in prevention science.  This core team brings their passion for working with youth to each of the sessions they facilitate, providing lessons that are engaging, interactive, and resulting in the acquisition of new skills.

A. Jordan Wright, Ph. D, ABAP

A. Jordan Wright, Ph. D, ABAP

Consulting Psychologist

Jordan serves as a key advisor for Hallways and spearheaded our transition to an evidence-based strategic prevention framework, which integrates the most current research on prevention science with the acknowledgement that the independent schools in New York are unique and have specific, individual needs.  As a researcher and faculty member at a university, he brings an evidence-based mindset to clinical and preventative services.

Sarah Diaz, MSW

Sarah Diaz, MSW

Research & Assessment Coordinator

Sarah Diaz works to ensure that Hallways’ work stays rooted in the latest research on youth development, and is the primary author of Hallways’ upcoming handbook for parents and educators. Sarah helps coordinate the assessment process, conducting data collection and analysis and authoring the majority of assessment reports. Sarah brings to her work with Hallways a background in youth and education policy and research, as well as a strong belief in the important role of research evidence in supporting young people and promoting equity and justice.

Sarah holds a BA in American Studies from Wesleyan University as well as an MSW from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, where she focused on community organization and development. Prior to joining Hallways, Sarah worked as a research assistant at the William T. Grant Foundation, where she supported the Foundations work to fund research that improved the lives of young people. Sarah also served as a community liaison for the New York State Assembly, focusing on youth and education issues.

Testimonials

I want to personally thank Hallways for your unwavering swift responses, expertise and outreach in all of our collaborations. School-wide, our partnership is incredibly helpful, the resources abundant, and community support tremendous. I am truly appreciative for Hallways' invaluable guidance and recommendations that have helped created meaningful changes and proactive responses to how we ensure the health, safety, wellness and success of all our school constituents.

Director of Counseling

Collaborating with Hallways…has been an invaluable part of our process of creating programming to support healthy behavioral, social, and emotional norms among our students. Consulting with us on everything from preventing sexual harassment to recognizing unhealthy relationships to developing skills to resist early substance use, Hallways has consistently provided a multitude of resources for our community. In addition to leading workshops as part of our Health & Wellness courses in grades 5-12, the Hallways team also supports our mission by helping to train our faculty, speaking to our parent body, and consulting with teachers and administrators on a regular basis. I continue to be so grateful for our school’s partnership with Hallways.

Upper School Dean

The Hallways (consent for educators) training was engaging, informative, and challenging. The team provided multiple entry points into the content, but did not shy away from pushing us to participate in difficult conversations and meaningful self-reflection. Sexual consent was not simply analyzed as a discrete topic, but rather was grounded in the context of gender norms, power dynamics, and each of our personal histories. I would highly recommend this experience for educators, school leaders, or anyone looking to better understand their role in and potential impact on this critical work.

Head of Middle School

This (consent for educators) training is thoughtfully designed and wonderfully executed. I can't imagine a better approach to this work in such a relatively short period of time. I'm confident my school community will benefit from our participation in this training.

Head of Upper School

For me the most powerful component of the Hallways Gender and Consent training was the work regarding men and boys. To deconstruct the molds that not only constrict the male gender but most others is a moving effort and world changing work. I hope to bring an understanding to my personal life, and to my work with children, that boys are not men, that men can cry, and that there is no positivity in brotherhood that is misogynistic or patriarchal.

Assistant to the Headmaster

Freedom Institute

Freedom Institute is a non-profit outpatient recovery center based in Manhattan, New York. Founded in 1976 by Mona Mansell, a recovering alcoholic, Freedom Institute was one of the country’s first intervention programs. At a time when substance abuse treatment consisted primarily of inpatient programs, Mona helped hundreds of people find appropriate treatment after intervention while providing ongoing support to their families.

Today, Freedom Institute is a state-of-the art outpatient treatment and recovery center that provides a range of innovative, evidenced based treatment services for adults, young adults, adolescents, and families. Remaining dedicated to the founder’s vision, Freedom Institute is the only center in the country to combine Intensive Outpatient Programming with a family systems approach, and we offer a higher level of outpatient care tailored to the specific needs of our clients than any other outpatient provider in the New York metropolitan area.