Fellowship Information

In 2024-25 we’re piloting The Flight School Fellowship: a first-of-its kind experience for students graduating from high school in 2024.

We believe there’s an education higher than higher ed — a whole-person approach to learning that helps you understand your gifts, explore what the world needs, and discover what role you’re here to play.

We’re looking for dreamers and do-ers worldwide who are ready to trade classrooms and textbooks for a radical new curriculum: life!

If this sounds exciting, we invite you to:

  • Stop doom-scrolling and start looking up
  • Stop striving for someone else’s definition of success or happiness and start finding your own
  • Stop waiting for instructions and start leading your life

This isn’t a “gap year program."

In fact, most of our Fellows aren’t looking for a program, they’re looking to chart their own course.

Instead, think of us as the scaffolding around whatever you choose to do during the year after high school. Whether it’s a job, an internship, creative projects, or travel, we’re here to help you make it count.

Through the Fellowship, you’ll get a community, coaching, and courses designed to make this year not just a transition, but a transformation. We’ll help you find your people, your purpose, and your power to drive changebefore making huge decisions about the rest of your life.

We're committed to accessibility and are proud to announce that our donors have covered the cost of participation for The Flight School Fellowship for the entire 2024-25 founding cohort. Additionally Fellows are eligible to apply for a stipend of up to $10,000 USD to support travel, lodging, or projects during the year.

There is no tuition fee, and participation is free for anyone selected.

This year’s cohort is our first, and we're currently in the final week of selecting a very special group to join us.

They are all ...

  • Excited to belong to a community that asks deep questions
  • Skeptical of the status quo, worried about the state of the world, and committed to improving it
  • Hungry to leave their comfort zone and learn from new people, places, and ideas
  • Motivated by the opportunity to be part of our founding team
  • Active participants in a rigorous (but quick) selection process

Stay tuned for more information on our founding Fellows!

Credit: Barbara Pozzi

We're here to make sure that the year after high school isn't a "gap," but a launchpad to a life of purpose, meaning, and impact.

That's why we call it a "Launch Year."

Our Fellowship is designed to unlock the REAL skills (resilience, empathy, agency, and leadership) that can't be taught in a classroom.

You'll get:

  • A global community of peers who are deep, determined, and diverse
  • Coaching and mentorship to support your well-being and growth, and to hold you accountable not to a final exam, but to your true self
  • Experiential curriculum that augments and enhances your self-directed learning
  • Relational technology to support the most productive and profound online engagement you’ve ever experienced
  • Inspiration from luminaries — people like Wendy Kopp (Teach for All), Premal Shah (Kiva), Andrew Youn (One Acre Fund), Jeremy Heimans (Purpose), Mia Birdsong (NextRiver), Jenny Odell (author) — and many, many more
  • Real-world leadership experience helping us design and build The Flight School’s future

Here's our promise - if you show up and do the work, you'll emerge with:

  • Confidence in yourself, your role in the world, and your next steps
  • Resilience to sustain you when things are hard (and when they’re not!)
  • A compass (aka a "north star"or sense of purpose) more trustworthy than other peoples’ maps or expectations
  • A body of work that reflects what you did and learned throughout your year
  • A network for life of peers and champions from across the globe to accompany your journey 

Our donors have covered your tuition so participation is free for anyone selected. Additionally Fellows are eligible to apply for a stipend of up to $10,000 USD to support travel, lodging, or projects during the year.

The Fellowship will be demanding and dynamic, active, and (at times) unpredictable. It will also be the most intense and formative learning experience of your life.

And while we’re here to give you tools and support, what you do with them is up to you.   

The Fellowship is designed to support a broad range of experiences. To ensure that the year is transformative, we ask each Fellow to commit to including these experiences in your Launch Year: 

  • Leave home: Spend at least one month immersed in a foreign place. This can be anywhere from a new country to a new neighborhood, but it needs to be a place that will give you the experience of leaving home, living outside your comfort zone, and challenging and expanding your perspective.
  • Do aligned work: Spend at least one month doing work that aligns with a question that animates you. This can take many forms (e.g., a passion project, job, internship, etc.) but it needs to give you the experience of doing work that aligns with what you love. You do not need to be paid for this — it’s the experience that matters.
  • Rest and retreat: Spend at least one week in retreat. This can take many forms (e.g., a week in the wilderness or a silent retreat at a monastery, etc.), but it needs to give you the space to be still and away from technology.
  • Participate in the Flight School community: Actively contribute to our online community including a mix of asynchronous challenges, reflection activities, well-being practices, and prescheduled online gatherings. When you journey to areas where connection is spotty or you'll be offline, proactively communicate so the community knows your plans.  
  • Leave room for the unexpected: While consciously undertaking a search for your purpose, your people, and your place in this world, leave space for what your imagination and serendipity can teach you along the way.   

Here’s our best guess at how the 2024-25 Fellowship year will unfold:

🧭 August 16-31, 2004: Dis/orientation

Begin your Launch Year! Our first month will be a blend of synchronous meet-ups with your cohorts and coaches, and asynchronous learning adventures IRL to help you:

  • Meet our network of near peers and mentors
  • Map your plan for the year (budget, logistics, etc.)
  • Prepare for the journey practically and emotionally

Since Fellows are enrolling from around the world, this will happen virtually, but we promise, it won’t look or feel like online school. You and your fellows will embark on:

  • A 30-day challenge
  • Weekly coaching
  • Daily intention and reflection exercises
  • Mini-immersion in a new community

You can expect to spend 10-20 hours per week on the activities above.

🌍 September - April: Learning in the World

Set off for your self-designed learning adventure! Wherever you are in the world and whatever you're doing, you'll have access to a range of opt-in opportunities like:

  • Curiosity conversations to expand your social network
  • Cohort huddles to share stories, challenges, and problem-solve together
  • Coaching sessions to help you set goals and make meaning from your experiences
  • Flight School Firesides to connect you with luminaries around the world
  • Committee meetings to make real decisions with real stakes
  • Self-designed retreats to unplug, get still, and reflect away from technology

You can expect to spend 5-10 hours per week on the activities above.

🥳 May - June: Celebration of Learning

Synthesize your experiences in a capstone project! During the final two months of the Fellowship you will:

  • Develop a body of work (e.g. TED talk, art show, exhibition, research, podcast, book of essays) that showcases what you’ve learned and done
  • Receive coaching to refine your voice and public speaking skills
  • Present your project to our community of peers, advisors, and coaches during our celebration ceremony
  • Define your next steps and pass the baton to incoming fellows.

🌱 June and Beyond: Lifelong Learning

Our philosophy is that you never graduate from The Flight School. Our community will be yours for life, accompanying you as you move on and up in the world, charting (and changing) your course.

Credit: Martina Scott