The Passion Academy
The Passion Academy is a reoccurring 16 week experience where high school aged young men learn to rediscover their imagination, reinforce original thought and redefine themselves as gentlemen. Through the use of the Socratic Method and experiential learning, the Adult Facilitators guide the young men through a self-discovery process that enables them to uncover root passions they possess. The young men’s individual passions are then fused together in a group project that has a singular objective, but component parts that engage the passions of everyone in the group. The group project requires both planning and executing activities that involve networking with the local business community, pitching ideas, negotiating, event planning, budgeting, presenting and marketing -- which exposes them to both confidence-building achievement and unexpected disappointing outcomes. The Adult Facilitators guide the young men to think critically about those outcomes, deconstructing them to reveal how small adjustments can substantially alter the end result -- including the manner in which they conduct themselves. The thoroughly engrained, but subtly spoken, undertone is that the characteristics of a gentleman are the characteristics that one needs for success. Such an approach allows the young men to independently discover why they should carry themselves as a gentleman.
For the past 2 years, The Passion Academy has operated at John Muir High School as a weekly afterschool program. Starting in the Fall of 2014, it will become community based and operate on Saturday mornings at different mentally stimulating locations each week.