Research shows that young people attending elite schools have 2-3 times the rates of substance use, anxiety, and depression than national averages. Despite many of the opportunities and resources these students have access to, they are in fact an at-risk group. Hallways’ programming is designed to meet the specific needs of these students so they can thrive not only academically, but socially and emotionally as well.

Why focus on social-emotional well-being?

As children grow, parents and educators often focus on their intellectual and physical development. While young people’s development in these domains is an important indicator of their health, children’s social and emotional development is equally crucial.The core features of social and emotional wellness include the ability to understand and regulate one’s own emotions and emotional responses; to understand others’ emotional states and demonstrate empathy; and to establish and maintain close and healthy bonds with peers and others. These abilities not only allow young people to make the social connections that will help them thrive, they also support their academic performance, extracurricular success, and sense of self-worth. Social and emotional wellness contributes not only to young people’s health and happiness, but also to their ability to make positive decisions and say no to risky behaviors and situations.

Skill-Based, Interactive Student Workshops

Our workshop series focus on building the skills proven to support young people in making healthy choices and consist of four 45 minute lessons. Topics include:

  • Building Healthy Coping Skills
  • Managing Perfectionism & Pressure
  • Identifying Values & Making Healthy Decisions
  • Empathy and Healthy Friendships
  • Consent 101
  • Unpacking Gender Norms

Strategic Prevention Assessment

For schools seeking a deeper understanding of their students' needs, Hallways offers our Strategic Prevention Assessment. The Assessment uses a multi-modal research methodology to identify the risk and protective factors that are present in a grade (both internally and in their environments), and offers schools specific strategies to support students and prevent high-risk behaviors.

Peer Leadership Training

In addition to our student workshops, Hallways offers Peer Leadership Training working with students to develop their leadership and facilitation skills. These workshops also include training focused on sexual violence prevention.

To learn more about our student programming, view our full list of Student Services or contact us at

Student Programming

  • Grade Level Strategic Prevention Assessment

  • Substance Use Prevention Workshops

  • Consent Education Workshops

After 30 years of serving the Independent School community in the New York City area, the board of Freedom Institute has reached the difficult decision to close Hallways and thereby end the organization's prevention programming due to its financial unsustainability. 


Hallways’ accomplishments are community accomplishments. Thank you to our many partner schools for their years of investment and dedication to our important work. Thank you to all the parents and community partners who have attended our talks, hosted events, and advocated for social-emotional learning in your schools. Thank you to the students, who showed up with vulnerability in our workshops and allowed us to learn and grow from sharing their realities with us. And finally, thank you to the Hallways team members, past and present, for all the passion, humor, thoughtfulness, and creativity you have all brought over the years. 


We are thrilled to continue the sale of  From the Inside Out: The Hallways Handbook For Raising Emotionally Healthy Adolescents

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