Donations to Project Wayfinder are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Scope of the Problem:

17 million high school students go to high school everyday – most are wasting their time. The magnitude of the dysfunction of our current high school model is immense; America’s high schools are failing our students academically, but more importantly, they are doing little to address their human development. But high school does not have to be this way. It has the possibility to be meaningful, transformative, and yes - even fun.

Our Mission:

Develop 21st century wayfinders who understand what deeply matters to them so they can be confident, intentional navigators capable of tackling the issues that they care about in the world.

Backstory + Leadership:

Project Wayfinder is led by longtime adolescent educator Patrick Cook-Deegan. In 2015-2016, Patrick was an education innovation fellow at Stanford's K12 Lab at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (or He came in to the fellowship with the question: How do develop a program that will help high school students craft meaningful lives and develop a sense of purpose? This led to the birth of Project Wayfinder.

Patrick is a Fulbright Scholar, graduate of Brown Univeristy, and former lecturer at Stanford. He has spoken at more than 100 high schools and universities and written on mindfulness, purpose education, and high school innovation for Stanford Social Innovation Review, Edutopia, and UC Berkeley’s Greater Good.

The Project Wayfinder advisory council or “wise council” includes:

  • Bill Damon, Professor of Education at Stanford University + Author of Path to Purpose
  • Bob Lenz, ED of the Buck Institute + Founder of Envision Schools
  • Alan Harlam, Director of Social Innovation Initiative + Watson Institute Adjunct Lecturer in International and Public Affairs
  • Vicki Zakrzewski,Founder and Director of the Greater Good Science Center Education Program at UC Berkeley

To learn more about the Wayfinder team visit here:

Our Work:

At Project Wayfinder, we are designing purpose-provoking experiences, trainings, and content for students and educators. The 3 ways we are doing this are:

  • Providing direct programming for students through our Wayfinder Programs
  • Designing a scalable and sequenced set of tools and resources as part of our Wayfinder Navigation Toolkit to be used by teachers and school counselors over the course of a school year or multi-year period
  • Training educators and school leaders in our tools and products so they can be implemented into a high school context, counseling or after school program

During the 2017-2018 school year, Project Wayfinder’s yearlong curriculum will be implemented at 25 schools with 4000 students in 7 countries + 12 states.


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