20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship

Peter Thiel the founder of Paypal, Inc. and investor in Linkedin and Yelp has a foundation that might be a fit for your child. Mr. Thiel is championing the notion that not every person needs a high priced college education or at least for a time can delay their education to grow and ascertain what they really want to pursue in life. The 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship was started to encourage young people to learn by doing, especially by forming their own companies and taking on the attitude that they can advocate change in the world. To date 64 Thiel Fellows have started 67 for profit ventures, raised over 55 million from angel investors and venture funding, published books, created 30 apps and 135 full-time jobs and brought clean water and solar power to parts of Africa.

I agree with Mr. Thiel’s premise that learning by doing is a must and have advocated this idea as a crucial part of homeschooling. Not only does this foster critical thinking and problem solving skills but it also creates individuals full of self confidence, which is a huge asset in one’s personal and professional life. Putting forth the idea that the development of self confidence in our young people is paramount is a recurring theme in my writing, but I have seen it to help my children through learning and emotional challenges time after time. Whether a young person should delay or not choose to attend college is a factor of career choice and economics. Mr. Thiel is hugely worried about the mountain of debt that many graduates of higher education are saddled with for decades and rightly so. Another important point for Mr. Thiel is to help young people think about how their education will be integrated into their future lives, what they really wish to do after college and how to develop a plan to attain the goal. These ideals may not sit well with professionals in higher education but I think they can be a great fit for homeschoolers, who already have made the choice to not only take control of their education but also their future careers. These young adults and their families are adept at formulating plans, setting goals and adapting to attain success.

Do not hesitate to explore organizations like Mr. Thiel’s or use internships to foster on the job learning skills. Wouldn’t it be great to have public figures like Mr. Thiel speak in favor of homeschooling, as they often promote the very ideals and goals we have long upheld. This will only happen if we homeschoolers participate in society and let our voices be heard.

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