Wayfinding Academy's Help us Grow

Now more than ever, students see college is not one-size-fits-all. The cost is too high while the experience too depersonalized. The traditional model isn’t working, and enrollment at traditional schools is falling. We need more options.

Three years ago, Wayfinding Academy, a two-year non-profit college in Portland, Oregon, reached out to the community to start a new kind of college.  Over 700 of you agreed and donated $206,000, breaking statewide crowdfunding records. 

Now we are looking again for your support with Wayfinding Academy’s next stage of growth. We want to:
1. more than double the size of our student body,
2. launch a second program,
3. continue to build more classroom space,
4. open a second Wayfinding Academy campus.

Too often the focus is on the wrong questions. Students shouldn’t be asking what college to pick, but what life to pick. At Wayfinding students use their passions to craft an experience, one they love.

Take Annie, a student in our first cohort who finished two internships, one with ADX’s Makerspace and another with a general contractor:

“The difference between a traditional college and Wayfinding Academy is that Wayfinding Academy is truly a learning COMMUNITY, a community that stretches far beyond the staff and the students who are physically at the school daily.  During my time at Wayfinding, I have felt like I could reach out to and count on this network to support me in the pursuit of my passions, and I have seen it mobilize all of its resources to help me find connections to people and opportunities that I would never have encountered otherwise." -- Annie

Before coming to Wayfinding, Annie completed a bachelor’s degree. After years in the workforce, she wanted a more fulfilling career. Now Annie is designing a career of her own as a maker and builder of stage backdrops for live events. 

The increasing cost of tuition is a barrier that limits access, especially to lower and middle-class families and people of color. Knowledge is a right, not a privilege. It's an investment we should share, not a debt that students should face alone.

Your support allows us to give a year of education at a significantly reduced cost for our students. Over 25% of our students receive need-based scholarships. The low cost to students and their families lets us continue to diversify our student body and give them the backing they need to succeed.

One scholarship we offer is the Larson Legacy scholarship. It supports individuals from financially disadvantaged backgrounds passionate about social change. Hannah has received it both years at Wayfinding:

"I want to express my deepest gratitude to Lee Larson for the Larson Legacy scholarship. This support has been such a blessing and has empowered me to follow my curiosity, ask big questions of myself and the world, and engage with people and topics very near and dear to my heart." -- Hannah

The funds for this scholarship came from a donation made during our first crowdfunding campaign three years ago.

Wayfinding will graduate its first cohort of students this summer. As we celebrate their success, we are preparing for our next stage of growth. We want to double our student body size, expand our current curriculum, and impact twice as many lives.

Austin, a Cohort 1 student, graduating this July, says,  “From the start, I was surrounded by a core crew of individuals who believed in Wayfinding's mission and actively lived out their values.  Being a part of a community of people genuinely trying to live life on purpose has allowed me to own my interests and passions and dreams and pursue them at Wayfinding and throughout my life.”

Our goal is to raise $60,000 to continue our legacy of revolutionizing the higher education experience. This is no easy feat, so we’re asking you to support us in this community funded campaign. Donations from this campaign will go directly to creating more programs and classroom space for our growing student body. It will provide the support necessary to create personalized educational experiences at a low cost.

We’re transforming the educational experience because it’s necessary. You will be investing in our future because when we each live a life on purpose, we all thrive.

It’s not impossible to create a handcrafted education on a budget. But we need you, our community, to help us make it happen.

To a life on purpose,
The Wayfinding Team

- Share this campaign! Share it with people you know who care about re-imagining higher education and finding a better way. Here's the link: www.WayfindingAcademy.org
- We are on Facebook and Twitter  (and Instagram and LinkedIn and all those cool places). Find us there. Follow us. Like us. Invite your friends to do it too.
- Continue to receive updates as we grow. Sign up for our email list, and we will send you those updates right to your inbox. Invite your friends to do the same. 

When you contribute to Wayfinding Academy, you become part of the higher education revolution! We inspire individuals to take agency over their lives. The education system can disenfranchise and alienate folks. Here is the chance to give support to a movement focused on living a life on purpose.

Is my contribution to the Wayfinding Academy tax deductible?
Yes! We are an IRS-approved tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization. When you donate to our campaign, you will receive a receipt for your tax-exempt donation amount (your contribution minus the value of the perks you have chosen).  

What is the best way to contact you for a media request?
All media requests can be sent by email to [email redacted] You can see our past media coverage by clicking here.

How will I get my perks? What if I don't want to receive any perks?
We will send a survey at the close of the campaign to ask you for specifics like your t-shirt size. You may also opt not to receive any perks and donate.

*All perk levels get your name added to our supporter wall.
  • Tiffany Bolstad-Cox  
    • $250 
    • 51 mos
  • Deke Bowman  
    • $35 
    • 51 mos
  • Valerie Adell 
    • $120 
    • 51 mos
  • Karen Stupski 
    • $35 
    • 51 mos
  • Amy Angelilli 
    • $10 
    • 52 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Wayfinding Academy 
Portland, OR
Michelle Jones 

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.