The Institute for Finding New Direction

FIND is a deeply engaging, innovative gap year or post college experience for emerging adults 16 to 25 years that further develops 7 transformative skills; Executive Function, Mindfulness, Self-efficacy, Self-compassion, Conscientiousness, Flow, and Design Thinking skills.


Applicants apply to FIND for enrollment in a work-study-play fellowship typically ranging from 6 to 18 months. The major outcomes of the program are one or all of the following three:

Deeper connection in relationships with significant others.

Enrollment in higher education and/or

Achieving meaningful employment in a career type job.

FIND offers increased complexity of group work projects – including outdoor work in basic landscaping, hardscaping, farming or construction. Fellows are challenged in 6 areas of personal development:
  1. Executive function skills – inhibiting impulses, cognitive flexibility, and working memory skills
  2. Life survival skills -etiquette and decorum, cleanliness and organization of living space, meal preparation, laundry, shopping
  3. Health and wellness
  4. Academic and learning, career/entrepreneurship, and money management skills
  5. Community service
  6. Spiritual development and moral compass

Older emerging adults have the opportunity to serve as mentors and take leadership roles for younger peers.

FIND offers the possibility of certification as a counselor-in-training (CIT) at the end of the program. Fellows also leave the program with a “seed fund, which is a financial match provided by FIND to the fellow based on success in money management during the program.

CIT certification and the seed fund allows fellows to transition from the program with proof of attaining a core set of widely applicable critical skills for self-control and happiness, and capabilities and starting means for being an independent, moral and productive human being.