Sixteen years ago I began a wild and ambitious journey, founding a school where all children would be embraced as powerful, resourceful, and competent people not only in the future but more critically in the here and now. The path to founding Voyagers’ was arduous yes, and direct. I have never wavered in my conviction that this is what education was always meant to be. The result is nothing short of marvelous. Our many Voyagers’ graduates are living productive and dynamic adult lives; our current students are cultivating passions and dreams; our faculty are teaching and learning with autonomy and the ability to innovate and make important decisions. Our message is spreading far and wide as our teachers’ curriculum gains traction on public forums like Twitter and Pinterest. I have been busy appearing on podcasts, publishing articles, hosting discussions with educators across the state and the nation, and traveling from coast to coast sharing Voyagers’ Community School as a proof of concept. I have never been more proud to call myself a Voyager, for I see the way Voyagers’ of every age are changing the world.
There comes a day in the life of a director of a nonprofit organization when they realize its time to dream bigger, to educate even more students, to push themselves to imagine what could be possible, and to let their actions mirror the essential elements of the mission they espouse. For me, that day of reckoning arrived like a thunderclap; the vision in my head was bold and the task was certain. From this Mission 130 arose and with it, the intention to raise $130,000. Why that number? One hundred and thirty years ago American educator Horace Mann, the coined “Father of Education”, visited Germany and was inspired by the factory model employed in the schools he visited there. One hundred and thirty years later despite unimaginable advances in industry, agriculture, and technology virtually all of our country’s schools are still offering the same factory-like learning environment, curriculum, and method of testing and measuring results, only to turn around and bemoan the lack of critical thinking, problem-solving, risk taking, collaboration and stick-to-it skills among those individuals they employ.
In honor of disrupting this stagnation of traditional education, and in an effort to continue offering a place in our remarkable school to even more children, Voyagers’ is committed to raising $130,000. Given the dedication and the resources among our faculty, staff, board members, and parents we are fully confident we will achieve our goal. So to all friends of Voyagers’, our community partners, our alumni network, and most especially, our parents: we are depending on you. You are the backbone of our community. You all have access to people, corporations, entrepreneurs, community leaders, and others who should be in the room with us at the Battleground Country Club on March 19th, both for their benefit and ours. All in attendance will be given the privilege of connecting with our keynote speaker, Sean Callagy: nationally renowned philanthropist, lawyer, business coach, and architect of the Unblinded Results Formula. In addition to a powerful proximity with Sean, they will learn more about our school’s mission and vision, and be given the gift of empowering the next generation of changemakers. To have a role in the creation of a child’s legacy through an endowment to their education is one of the greatest privileges available to us as adults. It makes us direct stewards of the future; by providing children from all walks of life a guaranteed path to success, we are able to leave behind a part of ourselves; the part that says “I see the future, and I know it will be better off because of me.”