Purpose Labs

There’s been a dramatic spike in the number of high school children suffering from anxiety today. A major cause is the pressure of having to make choices about future studies and careers they feel passionate about and that will help build a better world.

How do we, as adults, better support our young people through the turbulent journey of their teenage years?

Purpose Labs may just be one answer.

Helping teenagers transition into adulthood is more than just about building their resilience. It’s about helping them find their path and connecting them to their purpose so they can reach their full potential.

When kids feel they are ‘on purpose’,  they will naturally become more resilient.

Purpose Labs teach students how to investigate and experiment with their why. The course shows them how to uncover what really lights them up and how to take proactive action towards bringing their own unique purpose project to life.

Who are Purpose Labs for?

According to Professor William Damon at Stanford University’s Centre on Adolescence, only 1 in 5 young people between 12 and 26 years of age have a clear vision of where they want to go, what they want to accomplish in life, and why. 

Research has shown there are so many benefits for young people who have found a sense of purpose.

They bounce back better from setbacks. They sleep better, which leads to greater physical health and less depression. 

They have deeper connections with their family, peers and teachers and a greater sense of belonging.

Purpose Labs are for schools who want to encourage their students to find this sense of purpose and belonging. They’re here to help teachers who are seeing the effects of anxiety on their students and want to do something to help. 

Purpose Labs are for schools that are committed to helping their young people find their purpose and path in life beyond the school gates and university.

How they work - more than a resilience program

Purpose Labs give students permission to not know the answer, and to understand that their purpose – and vocation – will change several times over their life.

They aim to take away the anxiety of having to make a single-minded choice about their future. They teach students how to direct their own learning towards ideas and projects that inspire them instead.

During the classes, we work with the famous Ikigai model to help students focus not only on what they’re good at and what will make them money (a profession) but also on what they truly love and what they feel their school or local community needs.

Over the term-long course, students get the opportunity to explore their purpose, design a project and turn it into action with the support of a mentor and peers. The course culminates in a public graduation ceremony where students present their projects to a live or virtual audience at their school.

Projects may include exploring if they want to go to university, take up an apprenticeship, start their own business, become a professional artist or sports person, work in a company as an employee, start a community project funded by local council or even design a portfolio livelihood.

Nothing is off the table and we encourage students to be wildly creative and identify at least three options for their working life before narrowing it down to one project for the Purpose Lab.

The course ends in a wonderful graduation ceremony, where the students pitch their projects to their peers, fellow students, parents and teachers at a virtual or live event.

I work with the tools and frameworks I have successfully used for a decade to connect students to their purpose, write their own purpose statement and prepare a simple plan to turn it into action.

The Results

Once students have gone through the Purpose Labs course, they will have a renewed focus and motivation with a clearer direction for where they want to go after school.

The course gives students the chance to showcase their talents with their peers – as well as the broader community. It builds a bond between students, teachers, parents and the school as they collaborate and support each other.

Schools who adopt this course over the long-term will be seen as socially and environmentally progressive with a holistic approach to education.

They’ll be seen as the best choice for schooling by parents, students and prospective families.

Let's build a connection

Anyone who values helping students find their place in the world and connecting to the difference they want to make in their community, will resonate with Purpose Labs.

The ability to enhance the smooth transition of your students from school life to their next big chapter in life is indispensable.

Trial the Ikigai Discover your Purpose lesson from Purpose Labs with your students by downloading the lesson guide below. It’s designed to be discussed in a classroom environment and is a fun and thought-provoking activity.

Or if you’d like to explore the possibility of me bringing Purpose Labs to your school, book a conversation.

Download the Discover your Purpose Lesson Guide

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