Going to College at Wayfinding Academy

Back in July when I was at the World Domination Summit conference in Portland, Oregon, I heard a presentation that I’m super excited about.

There’s a new kind of college starting up that will be perfect for kids like me.

A new and different kind of college.

I’m talking a place where kids with ADHD might want to go — kids who can’t picture ourselves sitting through regular college or university classes.

A college that helps us learn hands-on, creative and interesting things, that we choose to study because we are interested in learning them.

In fact, it’s a place that aims to help students find their passion, by looking at core questions like, “Who am I?” and “What do I want?”

As soon as the presentation was done, I  jumped up out of my seat, ran behind the stage and found the speaker.  I told her I wanted to go to her school and I offered her my pair of sunglasses in exchange for tuition.

(My mom was flabbergasted.)  😉

And you won’t believe what happened…she said YES!  The speaker made the deal with me. Just like that, I’m the first student who will be admitted to the Wayfinding Academy when it opens in September 2016 in Portland Oregon. Woot!

Wayfinding Academy

The Wayfinding Academy

This college is an idea that the speaker (and founder), Michelle Jones, has been working on since 2005. She’s done a lot of work to get the idea off the ground — including putting a team of educators together and raising almost $160,000 to start making it a reality.

She’s imagined a place where students can work on finding what they are good at and interested in, and learning the skills they need to turn their passion into a line of work.  My mom’s always said that every person has something unique to contribute to society — this school will help people develop that in themselves and obtain a college degree when they do it.

Michelle says she was interested in my deal (remember, I traded sunglasses for tuition) because there are so many kids with a story like mine, who often don’t have the support to move past their struggles. She wants Wayfinding Academy to be that support system for them.

We’re a group of professors, students, higher education professionals, non-profit and community leaders, and everyday citizens with over 100 years of experience in higher education who know college can be the incredible experience it promises to be. Right now too many students can’t afford college, drop out, or even finish college without finding direction or purposes in their lives. We believe there is a better way. We are starting our own college.  A new model for higher education.

-as written by Michelle Jones, in Wayfinder Academy’s Indiegogo fundraising campaign

The Wayfinding Academy will be an affordable, 2-year college in Portland Oregon. Students will be supported in discovering their own personal interests and learning in the way they learn best.

We promise no student will leave the Wayfinding Academy not knowing what they are doing next.

What Exactly are they Going to Teach?

Are they going to be Accredited?

How much is it going to cost?

If you’re at all interested in the ideas behind this college, I’m sure you’ll have a ton of questions.  If you want to learn more about the Wayfinding Academy, take a look at the writeup on their Indiegogo Campaign page (click here) — there is a lot of information about what they’re going to teach, how they’re going to teach it, and what makes this school different from every other college out there.

How Can I Get Involved in Making this Happen

Let’s get real here. I realize I’ve just ended a great big fundraising campaign on Kickstarter, and we’re all a little exhausted thinking about asking anyone for any money, again.  So please forgive me.

I have to tell you that NOW is your opportunity to support this school.  

The fundraising closes on Friday evening, and they need a lot more money to reach their goal.

Click here to donate and support Wayfinding Academy

(This is not an affiliate link. I’m not going to receive any money for helping spread the word about this fundraiser.)

The Wayfinding Academy plans to open student admissions in February 2016. They are currently at the last 2 days of a Crowdfunding Campaign, to raise $200,000 to get the school off the ground.  This will help them get started, establish a scholarship fund for students, and work towards applying for additional funding.  They also plan to apply for regional accreditation.

Right now, the average donation is $289 and the most popular level is $110. They have raised almost $160,000 in donations.

They need a lot more of those donations by this Friday August 28th at 11:59PM to reach their goal.

Click here to donate and support Wayfinding Academy

If you are in the US, the Wayfinding Academy has been approved as a 501(C)3 tax exempt organization, so I understand your donation will be tax-deductible.  (Please check with them for details.)

In addition to donating money to the Crowdfunding campaign, you can help by: 

  • Share this campaign with people you know who care about re-imagining higher education and finding a better way. Here’s the link to share: www.WayfindingAcademy.org
  • Follow them on Social Media: Wayfinding Academy is on Facebook and Twitter (and Instagram and LinkedIn). Like them and invite your friends to do it too.
  • Get updates as the Wayfinding Academy grows:  Sign up for their email list and invite your friends to do the same.

I hope you sign up to follow their progress and consider whether this might be the kind of opportunity your ADHD Kid (or yourself) might benefit from.  If nothing else, I hope you’re inspired by these people who are trying to create a school for kids who think a little differently about things.

I think I’m going to start with learning something related to music.  Maybe learn to mix it, record it or be a Dee Jay. We’ll see — there are lots of options for us and I’m kinda excited about that.



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