WHO WE ARE

About Pathways

Pathways to Independence was founded in 1991 by Dave and Joyce Bishop and received 501(c)(3) status as a Public Charity in February 1994.   Pathways’ initial goal was to help a young woman named Monica, get advanced education and achieve self-sufficiency. Monica was the product of a dysfunctional alcoholic family, with Pathways’ help, Monica was able to get advanced training and a full-time job and achieved independence. 

Pathways to Independence is the inspiration and avenue for individual empowerment, personal healing and scholastic growth.

The mission of Pathways to Independence is to transform the lives of single young women, from disadvantaged backgrounds, through education, therapy, mentoring, housing and healthcare, to break the cycle of poverty and abuse.

Presently, Pathways has 14 Board Members and 120 volunteers collaborating to execute our mission.

The Board

Our active and involved Board of Directors, comprised of area professionals including two Pathways’ graduates, is charged with the financial and managerial oversight of our operations. We are extremely fortunate to have such a committed group at the helm of our organization. No Board Members receive any compensation whatsoever.

2022 MOTTO

United in Mission

(Pictured) Pathways board and staff at the April 2022 retreat.

Our Current Board Members

Our Current Staff Members

Diana Hill

Executive Director

Diana has been associated with Pathway since 2007 and has served as a mentor, coordinator, and board member.

Lisa Mais

Fund Development Officer

Lisa has over 25 years of non-profit and fundraising experience with Pathways to Independence.

Eydie Pasicel

Program Director

A graduate of California State University, Long Beach with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and a minor in Psychology.

Kitty Barlow

Controller

Kitty owns and operates her own Accountancy.  She is a Certified Return Tax Preparer, licensed by the State of California.

Cindy Gillis

Administrative Assistant

Cindy has been involved in the Long Beach nonprofit community since 1990.

Franc Freeman

Apartment Manager

Current Pathways Client

Shawnee Stevens

Apartment Manager

Her goal is to add the support network already in place for the women who live here in the Pathways buildings.

Friends of Pathways

In 1996, Pathways to Independence was struggling financially, and ready to close its doors. Along came a small group of can-do women who formed “Friends of Pathways” (FOP) to raise money for Pathways to Independence (PTI).

We started with a bang, hosting a progressive dinner party in Park Estates in October of 1996. The generosity of that first group of guests enabled 12 students to begin their journey on the path to Independence. We have grown from a gathering of a handful of Friends to a committee of over 100; with over 650 guests in attendance each year. 2019 was a banner year for our Fundraising event – over $750,000 was raised at our “Fiesta  in the Park” event.

Diana Hill

Diana has been associated with Pathway since 2007 and has served as a mentor, coordinator, and board member. Diana was asked to take the role of Interim Executive Director in February of 2022 and, in September of 2022, was honored to accept the position permanently.

Previously Diana owned and operated a national seminar firm for 18 years and was a Director of Education at Online Trading Academy for 14 years. Diana has been a community leader for over 25 years in Los Alamitos and the greater Orange County area. She is currently a governing board member of the Los Alamitos School District, among other volunteer positions.

Diana is passionate about making a difference in the lives of those who have demonstrated a desire to grow and break the negative cycles in their lives. She is a leader who serves, inspires, and always reaches for audacious goals.

Lisa Mais

Lisa Mais, Fund Development Officer has over 25 years of non-profit and fundraising experience with Pathways to Independence. She is driven by a passion for service, collaboration, and a desire to have a positive impact on the world. Her successful track record of grant writing, donor development, and fundraising events brings a focused energy to the Pathways team as the organization grows.

Eydie Pasicel

Eydie graduated from California State University, Long Beach where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and a minor in Psychology. She has worked with survivors of violence since 2010 and has led a myriad of trainings to service providers on how to create spaces that would best support a survivor’s healing journey. Eydie has completed trainings centered on Racial Equity and Restorative Justice and she is a proud alum of the Leadership Long Beach Institute. When Eydie is not at work you can find her riding her bike, dancing with her partner, breaking bread with friends, or just hanging out with her plants.

Kitty Barlow

Kitty owns and operates her own Accountancy.  She is a Certified Return Tax Preparer, licensed by the State of California. She became involved with Pathways in 2009. She has been a mentor, and has served on The Board.  She shares her passion for the Pathways mission even more than her passion for numbers. “I can not think of a better organization to work for”, “It is, and will continue to be my honor to serve this wonderful organization”.

Cindy Gillis

Cindy has been involved in the Long Beach nonprofit community since 1990. She has held leadership positions in Junior League, Assistance League of Long Beach and her son’s school’s PTAs in addition to many committee positions in various local organizations. Cindy joined Pathways to Independence as a volunteer in 2006 and became an employee in 2010. She is passionate about the opportunities that Pathways affords their clients and is excited to be a part of the team that supports their growth.

Shawnee Stevens

I am a passionate student of biological and health science, and I am beginning my second year in Pathways to Independence. I am starting the transfer and application process to nursing schools in the early spring and hope to get into nursing programs as soon as possible. I consider myself to be a Jack of all trades, and am excited to be joining the Pathways team in an official capacity! In addition to my schooling, I work as an In-Home-Care Aide and have many hobbies, just a few of which are cooking, paddle-boarding, biking and arts-and-crafts. I am working with Eydie and others to begin mindfulness workshops and cooking workshops in which clients can learn new and useful skills for daily life. I hope to add to the support network already in place for the women who live here in the Pathways buildings, and hope to promote a sense of belonging, safety and community to all who come to live under our roof. I have lived at 5091 Dunbar for just over a calendar year, and absolutely love where I live. I am happy to assist in the care and maintenance of these buildings and their amenities that are so generously provided to us clients and am excited to be a part of the Pathways to Independence experience!