Today we’d like to introduce you to Scott Schimmel.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After spending 10 years doing leadership development in a non-profit working with college students across the county, I learned that most of the graduates from top schools were still struggling from an identity, purpose and belonging standpoint many years after graduation. They are lost in their careers, lonely in friendship and community, and generally stuck in personal development. The theory that life will just ‘work out’ is a broken idea. I was introduced to a couple other guys in town, Shawn Parr (CEO of Bulldog Drummond) and Gregg Imamoto (CEO of Ono Solutions), we put our heads together around a common question: What if there was a place to go to learn about yourself and get the tools you need to live out your best life?
Reflecting back, we’ve collectively recognized that the high-pressure academic system has some flaws. Right now, there’s no time or space given to students in Middle School, High School or College to reflect on themselves and be guided into clarity about self-awareness. The absence of that space has significant implications on a campus culture: safety, attendance, academic performance, anxiety and depression, and a host of other social-emotional consequences. We want to provide that space, not just for students who are transitioning to the next level potentially on auto-pilot, but also for other specific populations like veterans and athletes.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Oh man. How long do you have? Not at all. I think we naively thought it would be really simple to partner with local schools and school districts, that they would clearly see the value of our program and be willing to put time and budget to our programs. It hasn’t been easy at all, especially from 2013-2017 it seemed like most of the leaders in schools just didn’t see providing time and space for students to reflect on their inner lives was important at all.
But, something has shifted in the past year, and now there’s a big swing towards providing social-emotional curriculum and programs to students and the value it can bring to multiple problems. Since it was difficult for those years, we found ourselves saying ‘yes’ to other opportunities outside of our sweet spot, searching for a market that we could find traction in. As a result, we started to partner with veteran transition programs and also to work with high performing athletes transitioning out of their sport. We’re really grateful for those opportunities and not only have we seen tremendous fruit and impact with those populations but also a path to scale.
Please tell us about The YouSchool.
Primarily we help people walk through seasons of transition with clarity and confidence about hugely significant dynamics in their lives: identity, purpose, and belonging. In schools (Middle, High and College level), we bring a suite of programs to engage the social-emotional dimensions of a campus and offer not only student programs but also teacher professional development and parent education workshops.
Our main program is called the Life Script program, and it walks someone through their own answers to life’s key questions: What do I believe in? What kind of person am I becoming? What’s my mission? How can I best contribute? Who do I belong to? Our best work is in designing space for someone in transition to reflect on important questions, and have authentic conversations with the people who matter most.
We also partner with veteran organizations and athletic departments.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
One side of my brain looks back with regret that we didn’t stay focused on one channel: schools. We could’ve made so much more progress by now, perhaps. The other side of me knows that are searching for a market gave us the opportunity to impact lives in significant ways and now develop mechanisms to impact on a much greater scale. So, no regrets!
- $149 for anyone to go through our LifeScript program online
- $99 for bulk pricing for schools and non-profit organizations (students, veterans, etc)
- Address: 655 G Street Suite B San Diego CA 92101
- Website: theyouschool.com
- Phone: 949-291-9061
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/theyouschool
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheYouSchool/
- Twitter: twitter.com/theyouschool