Our mission is to provide programs that connect, engage, empower, and educate young people from across the United States in order to inspire enduring learning and create a just and healthy world.
You can learn more about how we do this by reading about programs for students.
The Field Academy is fundamentally committed to learning. We seek to create enduring educational experiences that inspire individuals to be passionate learners in all aspects of their lives, to act and speak with compassion and conviction, and to be advocates for their own education within and beyond school.
To that end, a common set of values drives all that we do.
Adventure & Complexity
We believe in traveling, in feeding the imagination, in encountering new people, landscapes, concepts, and belief systems. We believe in pairing this engagement with an understanding of intricacy. We believe in asking deeper questions, seeking nuance, and questing for complexity.
We don't really like the term “young adults,” or most of the connotations that come along with it, but we believe in the people who are young adults. We believe that there is power and depth in the intersection of youth and adulthood – that the people who are young adults carry with them both the wonder and curiosity of youth and the drive for purpose and meaning of adulthood. We believe in this.
Diversity & Access
We believe in bringing people together across difference, in allowing each individual to tell his or her story, and in understanding and analyzing power dynamics that contextualize each of us as individuals. We believe that this type of education should be available to any student who seeks it and that a dedication to diversity is empty without a commitment to creating real access, financial and otherwise. Our organization is committed to generating access for all students and we will work closely with students, their families, teachers, and communities to do this.
We are committed to a personal, organizational, and educational practice of exploring power, privilege, and identity in our work and travel. We believe that this ongoing inquiry is necessary in order to build just relationships with individuals, communities, and organizations in different regions around the country. Upholding this value demands that we rethink traditional organizational structures and examine our own blind-spots. We are committed to this practice in all aspects of our organization: in our student programs, our development work, our organizational partnerships, our alumni community, as a staff, and as a board.
Challenge & Risk
We believe that challenge and risk are necessary for learning: for our students, our educators, and our organization. The Field Academy brings together people from varied perspectives and actively engages issues that are complicated and multifaceted while traveling in new and different settings. We recognize the risk inherent in what we do. We know that we will make mistakes and need to learn from them. We are committed to being a learning organization through and through. We believe this is the best example we can offer our students as they embark on new challenges and adventures.
We believe in passion. The Field Academy, itself, is a pursuit of passion: it is the result of our sheer love of teaching, traveling, and learning. We encourage our students to chase passion and pursue it through their education and we intend to hold the Field Academy, as an organization, to the same commitment.
True partnership is more than collaboration; it is the work of creating and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships that value all stakeholders and their contributions. We believe in building these long-term relationships with individuals, families, communities, school, organizations, and ecosystems whenever and wherever possible.
We believe in acting with honesty and honor. We believe in speaking candidly. We believe in maintaining a core character – both of our organization and of ourselves – that seeks to uphold what is just and challenge what is not.
We believe that learning is an ongoing and iterative process and the act of returning to something – a place, a subject, an idea, a community – is one of the most powerful ways to deepen our understanding of that thing and ourselves. As an organization, we believe in the work of self-reflection, in maintaining connections over time and across distance, in asking the same question twice, and in returning to the people, places, and things that we call home.
We believe that well-placed jokes inspire the mind to be playful, creative, and quick. We believe that laughter can be contagious and build connections across difference. We believe that costumes, dance parties, and camp skits play a role in revealing what is wonderful about this world. We strive to balance gravity and levity, seriousness and silliness, in all that we do.
We know that important things - ideas, materials, environments, time, energy, people - are often undervalued in our society, As an organization, we strive to see their true worth and engage these resources respectfully, responsibly, and regeneratively. We believe in repurposing remembering always that paper bags can double as scratch paper, and yesterday's chili can become today's burrito fillings. We strive to find creative ways to overcome challenges remembering always that the implications of our actions ripple out beyond our immediate context. This allows us to see abundance where others may perceive scarcity, and it ensures that we utilize each and every contribution to the Field Academy to its fullest extent and deepest impact possible.