Category Archives: Uncategorized

When Higher Education Alone Isn’t Enough (RR 027)

Servant of transition: Sunny Sangha

Sunny was a high achiever in school, getting top grades in a prestigious secondary school in England and then subsequently at Cambridge University. But despite having received one of the best educations on paper, he realized he was never asked a fundamental question – what kind of life he wanted to live. As a result he and his brother Ash are now creating a new, rich educational pathway called The Academy of Life.

Show notes:

How To UnCollege And Gain Your Life Back (RR 026)

Education enthusiast Charlie Taibi

All the way up through high school, you were probably asked plenty of times what you want to be when you grow up. But did you ever take the time to think about who your true self was, your “why,” and how you wanted to be in this world?

UnCollege is a gap year program that empowers students to take control of their own learning choices via experiences, and perhaps most importantly they give their students the permission to find and become themselves. They deliberately teach practical, soft skills and develops them via Supported Self-Directed Learning to prepare students for their next step in life, whether that includes college or not.

Charlie Taibi is the CEO of UnCollege. He shares his journey, what UnCollege offers that traditional colleges don’t, and what he enjoys most about his work.


Show notes:

Contact Charlie:

Bobby D.’s capstone presentation about his UnCollege Experience:
How I Gained My Life Back

More capstone presentations from UnCollege fellows

Jia Jiang’s 100 Days of Rejection TED Talk


High School Journalists’ Reporting Goes Viral (RR 025)

The high school reporting team that broke the internet

Maddie, a junior in high school and co-editor of her school newspaper, was assigned a story to write about a newly hired principal for her high school. After an interview and some research, things weren’t adding up and she was questioning the facts. She talked to her advisor Mrs. Smith, who coached her on next steps to follow up on her story.

Maddie then sent “the scariest e-mail she’s ever sent,” which included follow up questions to the new principal.

That began a roller coaster of events for Maddie and her fellow team of reporters, the “Pittsburg Six” (as Mrs. Smith refers to them). Under Mrs. Smith’s guidance and coaching, they found the courage to step outside their comfort zones, question authority as well as their own actions, and manage opposition and concern from many outside influences in pursuit of the truth.

Ultimately their reporting led to the resignation of the new principal, and an invitation to the White House Correspondents Dinner.


Show notes:
The Booster Redux – their school newspaper, and their original printed story

The Kansas City Star article by Neil Nakahado
Story goes national (and subsequently viral) with a pick up by The Washington Post

Inspiring the Rediscovery Within (RR 024)

Chief Inspiration Advocate Nicole Richards

Nicole was on a pretty traditional path in life working corporate jobs after college, but along the way she always allowed herself to pursue her curiosities. One day in the midst of corporate life burnout, she woke up, looked around, and realized that she had “been sold a bill of goods” of what life was supposed to be as defined by society. She then put in a lot of work to head down a path of living fully in pursuit of her own interests.

As Steve Jobs famously said that you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards, Nicole shares how her dots have connected to bring her to place that she is today, teaching meditation as Chief Inspiration Advocate at her company BuddhaInspired.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn


Show notes:

BuddhaInspired website
On Facebook
YouTube Channel

The Gig Economy by Diane Mulcahy
Steve Jobs: Connecting the Dots
Esalen Institute
Wisdom 2.0 Conference
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
Live Your Legend
World Domination Summit
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Minding The Gap: Cultivating The Gap Year Experience (RR 023)

AGA Exec. Director and world traveler Ethan Knight

Ethan was a good (enough) student in school, but with his mom being a social worker he felt a compelling need to be of service to something bigger than himself.

One day a guest speaker at his high school made a big impression on him, and eventually sent him on a journey of self-discovery via a gap year of travel. What he found was deeply fulfilling and provided a tremendous amount of clarification in his life.

He’s so passionate about the positive impacts of gap years, that he now works to help provide that experience to as many people as possible. Listen to his story and why gap years are so influential.

Also, keep an eye out for those “catalyst people” in your kids’ lives.


“Don’t ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do that.  Because what the world truly needs is people who have come alive.”  – Howard Thurman


Show notes:

American Gap Association (non-profit, consider making a donation!)
Carpe Mundi
Leap Now
Carpe Diem Education


Other things discussed in this show:

Cornelius Bull, pioneer of the American gap year experience
Center for Interim Programs
College That Change Lives
Lumina Foundation
Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers

High School Dropout to Teacher of the Year (RR 022)

TED-ED Innovative Educator, Apple Distinguished Educator, and Teacher of the Year Anthony Johnson

Mr. Johnson did not like anything about school as a kid. He failed 4th grade. And 7th grade. And 8th grade. And 9th grade. Finally the system failed him when his high school counselor told him he should quit school, get a GED, and learn a trade. That was forever the end of his primary education.

Today this wonderful human being is an innovative educator driven by the goal to make sure none of his students ever have the same school experience that he did.

He brings a non-conventional, transformative, engaging experience to his classroom that results in his students consistently receiving top scores throughout his school district. He’s also an Apple Distinguished Educator, a TED-Ed Innovator Educator, and the 2016-17 Teacher of the Year for his school district.

Meet Anthony Johnson, 4th grade educator, and the Mayor of “Johnsonville.”

Show notes:

Twitter: @a_p_johnson
Johnsonville Learning Network
Teach This Way

Apple Distinguished Educators
TED-Ed Innovative Educator

Gen Why & A One Way Ticket To Europe (RR 021)

Ex-pat photographer Anthony and mom Elizabeth

Our experiences have a significant influence on shaping the decisions that we make for our own lives.

Have you ever thought about the influence you have on your child as a parent? How about how much influence teachers have on your child?

Perhaps for the most part it goes without saying, or maybe we take it for granted. But have you ever taken some time to pause and really think about how much and what kind of impact they may have?

Do the two relationships work in tandem with one another. Are parents on the same page with teachers. How engaged are parents with teachers, and what does that relationship look like. What kind of message does that send to our kids and what adjustments should we make as a result? What is best for OUR child.

Today’s guest had a couple of teachers that had very powerful, but opposite impacts on his experience as a student. In addition he credits his mom for being such a strong role model and for teaching him to question everything, including her. If a generational label must be put onto millennials, it should be an emulous Gen Why.

Anthony’s questioning and collective experiences in life led to his decision to pursue his love of photography, to travel, and to buy a one way ticket to Europe. And he’s loving every minute of it.


Show notes:

Anthony’s photography on:

How A 15 Year Old Became A Global Citizen (RR 020)

Global citizens: Marla and Kasha Slavner

Where does a 15 year old come up with the idea to take a year off from school, travel to several countries, and film a documentary on what it means to be a global citizen? More importantly, why? And how do they pull this off?

Kasha Slavner was inspired at age 8 to make a difference (spoiler: her mom Marla taking her to different events when she was young may have had a little something to do with it). Now her documentary The Global Sunrise Project is having its world premiere at the United Nations this month.

This inspirational young woman and her mom together form a team to be the change they want to see in the world.


Show notes:
The Global Sunrise Project website

@GlobalSunrisers on:

Other things discussed in this show:
Three Dot Dash – Young People Changing the World
Free The Children

Rebel Generations: A Family Trilogy part 3 (RR 019)

Adventure capitalist Riley Temple

This is part 3 and the finale of our special event called Rebel Generations, today featuring Riley Temple.

Riley was not your model “A” student when he was young. According to his teachers he was disruptive and lacked focus (see Part 1 in episode 17 to hear how his mom Jody responded to his teachers upon hearing that). He loved to learn, but didn’t connect with traditional school. So much so in fact, that he felt disrespected by the school system at the time.

At first he didn’t want to go on his family’s trip around the world, he wanted to hang with his friends. But eventually he was ready, and the experience changed everything for him afterwards.

A life long learner, this millennial entrepreneur is a great example of someone who was encouraged to embrace his curiosities and to explore, and he thanks his family for who he is today.


Show notes:

Riley’s personal site
His book Get Going and his explorer package can be found on The Going
His family’s site: The Courage Vibe

Recommended (easy, fast, but powerful) reading:
Do the Work – Steven Pressfield
The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

Rebel Generations: A Family Trilogy part 2 (RR 018)

Creative strategist & grandmom Jan Black

This is part 2 of our special event called Rebel Generations, today featuring Jan Black.

Jan had a bit of a tumultuous childhood. Her home was unstable yet strict, and as a coping mechanism she found herself embracing creativity every chance she got growing up.

She did not graduate from college, but her enthusiasm and creativity invited opportunities. With no formal training, she eventually found herself teaching, and writing curriculum and books. She was always willing to try something new, and her mindset approach of “How hard could that be?” has served her well.

How did all of that play into her relationships with Jody and her grandson Riley?
What drives her to continue to create, build, and start new projects to this day?
How did she feel when she was told Riley decided not to go to college?

The wisdom and insights that Jan shares in this episode from her life experiences are truly inspiring.


Show notes:

Jan’s website: The Black Brand