When you start a college from the ground up (which we did), you also start at square one--building your supporters. After finishing the working model for the Wayfinding Academy, we reached out to our community and asked them all to re-imagine a higher education institution, one that favors adventure and challenge over comfort and ease. We quickly got to work, launching a crowdfunding campaign that helped us start this new kind of college. By the campaign's end, over 700 community members agreed that education needed a change.
These folks are our founders.
Part of this story, however, takes us back even further. In 2014, Jolie Guillebeau was the official Artist in Residence for TEDxConcordiaUPortland (now known as TEDxMtHood). For her role, she created a large-scale art installation to act as the backdrop for the event. Her artwork features 1,000 paintings on 5x5 inch pieces of plexiglass, each square a brilliant work of art.
For inspiration, she pulled from an earlier challenge of creating something new every day. During this time she set out to paint 100 paintings in 100 days. Instead, she kept the project going for three and a half years. Her artwork represents the best piece of advice she’s ever received. “Tiny actions add up to big results. You can make big changes bit by bit by bit. Get started,” she said on the TEDx stage.
Tiny actions do create big results. Wayfinding Academy is proof of that. And bit by bit we are changing the conversation about higher education. One of the main ways we’re able to do this is all of you, our supporters! And because of this, we do our best to think of creative ways to thank you.