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What is Parzival Academy, and is it right for me?

Parzival is the main character in Wolfram Von Eschenbach’s poem Parzival. The story takes the Soul on a journey toward adulthood, complete with adventure, glories, failures and reparation in the quest for the Holy Grail.  Parzival Academy is all about supporting young adults to move into the world in such a way that allows them to find their own true Inner Grail, and learn how to share it with the world. Storytelling is a powerful and sorely lacking method of teaching in today’s world, and we enjoy sharing this story with the students as part of our teachings.

As we see it, socio-entrepreneurialism is not about becoming an entrepreneur for the benefit of one’s community, though that’s certainly an option. 

Socio-entrepreneurialism at Parzival Academy is about cultivating: 

  • Leadership skills
  • Personal and Social Awareness
  • Well-being
  • Environmental Awareness
  • Creativity
  • Innovative thinking 

We believe all of these qualities are required to contribute to the world through one’s vocation and relationships in the most effective way possible, while staying true to yourself.

 

The socio-entrepreneurial spirit is about considering what your unique offer is to share with the world, while also considering the impact it can make. 

Exploration and resilience are critical tools to overcome fears, take risks, and establish a joyful foundation to life. Parzival’s teachings emphasize collaboration over competition, generosity over scarcity, and blending wisdom with tried and true knowledge to be sustained financially, whether in your chosen career or in a business you create, while being yourself. 

No.  Our process is about helping you to discover yourself and what makes your heart sing, just as much as it’s about guiding you to develop a socio-entrepreneurial spirit with that wisdom so you can create a career or business that supports and fulfills you.

We’ll be exploring your strengths, talents, personality, experiences, etc. to help you find something that you feel aligned in doing.

Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty to work with, even if you have to wrestle for a bit to align with your true path.  The socio-entrepreneurial spirit is about experimentation and resilience. You’ve got this!

Many gap year programs are focused on something to “do” during an educational break.  With so many young adults unsure of their path, and often burnt out before they even finish high school or college, Parzival Academy believes strongly that a gap program should be more about “becoming” than doing.  

As students take time to discover more of who they are, connect to what matters most to them, and envision a future they can be a part of creating, they’re able to step into the world with much greater confidence and clarity.

Parzival’s curriculum is a unique blend of personal exploration, development and understanding, with all the tools needed to create a sustainable life that expresses your special gifts in fulfilling ways. 

We created our program to be flexible for many situations, including the opportunity for in-person connection (via our orientation and graduation weeks in the beautiful mountains of Colorado), as well as the ability to live, travel or work wherever you wish while participating in the online learning and community portions of the program.

Parzival’s 9 month program can stand alone, supporting your self-discovery and socio-entrepreneurial skill building, or blend with other trainings to create the vocational and life fulfillment you’re seeking. Here are a number of ways in which the Parzival Academy education differs from traditional/systemic/university educational programs.

Traditional Education Parzival Education
Great for those who are very clear as to what they want for their career path and calling, or have significant funds for the “college experience” and a liberal arts education in hopes of finding that clarity
Great for those still exploring who they are, what they value, what their calling is, and how they can best share their unique gifts with the world
Tends toward a “one size fits all” model
Offers self-directed learning with guidance based on your unique skills and talents
Focused more on knowledge, theories, and employment based learning
Focused on cultivating creativity, outside-the-box thinking, empathy, communication, relationship building, innovation, wisdom and leadership/service based learning
Little to no emphasis on the development of the human being or relating with others and life itself
Significant emphasis on knowing who you are, relating well with others, overcoming obstacles, and meeting life authentically and courageously
Typically assumes the need for “well roundedness” with costly, required, general education courses that may not be related to your course of study or your interests/passions
Works with you to explore, discover and cultivate your inherent abilities and apply them to a calling of your choice, without costly “extras” that don’t apply to your unique path
Companies are growing ever more frustrated at the lack of capacities for collaboration, teamwork, empathy, and innovative thinking, which are not taught in traditional education
Offers the creative, innovative, and collaborative capacities, in addition to the self-discipline, focus, openness, and relationship building skills companies and potential collaborative partners are looking for
Tends toward a fixed curriculum based on a focused major or course of study, with little to no personalized interaction, attention or mentorship
Works with project-based learning combined with regular personalized mentorship to guide you toward creating tangible results and significant value that can be offered both in service to the world, and as income generation for you
While traditional educational experience may come with the opportunity to meet significant challenges that need to be overcome, there’s little to no guidance as to how to effectively navigate these challenges
Provides mentorship and coaching to help guide students through self-sabotaging thoughts and emotions, supporting them to truly learn who they are, how they can best relate with others, and to effectively build the confidence, responsibility and empowerment that is possible for every human being
Students typically graduate with knowledge and certain understanding that is not accompanied by hands-on experience
Students graduate having been immersed in numerous hands-on learning projects that directly apply to their success in creating a sustainable livelihood
Students work independently, accountable only to themselves and the teacher
Students work collaboratively with each other, and have personalized mentorship and coaching to hold them accountable and encourage them every step of the way
Many relationships are impersonal, often with teachers not even knowing the students’ names
Personalized relationships and meetings with each student creates a safe space that allows for self-development, in addition to knowledge and skills development
In larger universities, there’s little to no space available for students to process challenges or express emotions, needs and concerns, or for advisors to offer encouraging, honest feedback and support
Students have many options for support, whether via their peers in the community or their mentors. They’re able to express concerns and get regular, honest and encouraging feedback
Risk taking and learning to fail are not taught in traditional education, which often generates a sense of limitation that exists not only in one’s career, but spills over into life
Risk taking and failure are inherent in the iterative, exploratory, creative process of personal and vocational exploration, building resilience and fortitude for life
Many teachers/instructors are trained as teachers or researchers, and not necessarily experienced directly in the field that the student wants to move into
Mentorship based education offers those with direct experience of what’s being taught as teachers, guides, and encouragers
Students have teachers that direct their learning and grade them based on adhering to set standards
Students are respected and encouraged by the group for the discoveries they make and the milestones they reach
Graduates of traditional education often report having “lost the passion” for what led them to choose the education in the first place, often experiencing job dissatisfaction and burn-out
Students learn to stay connected with their own values, rather than adopting the values of an outdated system that is clearly not meeting the needs of today’s world

You might consider exploring and comparing the options. We have.

When we considered the cost of college education, the limitations of moving straight into a job without additional training and experience, and the lack of educational programs geared toward helping young adults become the best of themselves AND bring that to shine in the world, we realized there are very few if any other programs like Parzival Academy.

Parzival is here to shift the paradigm around education and opportunities for future generations. We’re educating and advocating for the idea that our world needs more young people to bring their gifts and shift the paradigm. 

A paradigm shift is not going to happen by continuing the old models of education that tend to generate “good workers” as opposed to visionary creators with confidence in their unique gifts.

We take full responsibility for ensuring that we offer you valuable skills that bring out your best, and allow you to create a fulfilling, sustainable life for yourself.

You must take responsibility for implementing the work, engaging with the program, and stepping out of your comfort zone.

We’re here to support you, and we want to see you have a strong path toward an authentic career or business for yourself. We’re not about a “quick fix” or a “magic pill” that’s going to promise you easy income or clarity in a short time. 

Parzival is about creating sustainable, tested, authentic practices that work over the long run to build a life and career that supports you. Everyone will have their own unique experience of how long that takes based on their prior work, their talents, the field they choose to go into, etc. 

We know that if you’re willing to come with the courage, curiosity and commitment needed to follow your calling, and the willingness to collaborate and communicate your needs, we’ll be there supporting and encouraging you every step of the way.

Absolutely!  You might already have a degree or other training beyond high school, and find yourself longing to effectively apply it via your own business or with greater confidence. Parzival Academy is a great way to do that.

If you’re currently enrolled in an intensive college program, you’ll have to determine how much time you have available to make the Parzival education most beneficial for you. Will you have the time to attend the weekly sessions? Will you be able to meet with your mentor(s) weekly and implement the projects? 

These are things to consider as you determine the right timing to participate in the Parzival Academy. Feel free to contact us with your questions as to whether it seems right for your situation.

That depends on how you define the “college experience.”  

If you’re looking for an experience of discovery, experimentation, collaboration, creativity, development, implementation, and growth, you’ll get a great experience with Parzival.

If you’re looking for more opportunities to socialize, study, or join in activities, you’ll be encouraged to create those yourself. You might consider getting a friend to enroll too, and share some in-person connection while cultivating new skills.

The socio-entrepreneurial spirit is about creating opportunities for yourself, as well as responding to opportunities to share your gifts. Initiating your own extra-curricular activities in creative ways that add to your educational experience is another great way to build your skills. 

We’re so glad that you’re asking! We love it when families work together to take on these big decisions and activities.  We’ve created a page just for the parents to help, and we’re happy to talk to you to answer any questions you may have.  Just schedule a time to talk, and we’ll connect! 

Tell me about the learning experience with Parzival.

You’ll be linking to our Google Calendar to be sure all of your sessions and appointments are on your calendar. 

We’ll begin with an orientation week in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.  You’ll fly into Denver and catch a shuttle to the location of the week’s events.

The online component of the program includes weekly group teachings, and Q&A Sessions, weekly individual mentoring sessions, and guest presenters.

There is a learning area to which you’ll be given a login account. The learning area holds recordings of all the learning sessions, downloadable assignments and resources, as well as pre-recorded learning videos. We focus on project and interactively based learning throughout the curriculum.

You’ll also have a private community forum where your peers and mentors can interact with you. You’ll be able to ask questions, share celebrations and successes, and be witnessed in your challenges The forum will be an active, engaging space to share and generate lasting friendships and support. 

You’ll be asked to do regular self assessments, allowing you to more actively see your blind spots and areas for improvement, as well as the areas you have ease and flow. We help you celebrate what’s working, and transform what’s not working into learning and development that supports you to grow.

The final graduation week will also be in the Colorado mountains, accessible via the Denver airport. 

Parzival Academy’s education is a unique blend of socio-entrepreneurial, personal and community skill building.

In the realm of socio-entrepreneurialism, you’ll be learning practical and technical skills that help you to develop leadership skills, innovative thinking, self-awareness, and effective ways to stay connected to your community.

You’ll learn authentic net-caring skills that help you become connected to those you can best serve, and build relationships with those you can collaborate with. 

We focus on giving you the important foundational skills to step into the world with confidence, aligned with your talents and passions. Parzival Academy does not bring you to an established business during the program, or provide any guaranteed job placement afterward. These are considerations we’re exploring for advanced training for those who may want it after the initial program. We focus instead on bringing forth the best, most prepared and wise human beings possible to meet a world growing more challenging by the minute. 

The world needs compassionate, soulful leaders. Here are just a few of the important leadership skills you’ll learn with Parzival:

  • Communication – Language is generative, so creating a successful business means we must know how to clearly communicate, both in what we say and how we listen.
  • Failing Forward – Leaders know the value of making mistakes and building flexibility and resilience to adapt and learn from them.
  • Creativity – Parzival students are immersed in creative opportunities throughout the program, bringing forth their talents and applying them to building a fulfilling and effective life.
  • Responsibility – You’ll learn the value of taking ownership of your actions, being transparent with yourself and others, and setting a tone that helps others believe in you.
  • Commitment – Perseverance, devotion, passion, prioritization, and follow through are qualities you’ll explore as part of establishing strong commitment in your work.
  • Inner Wisdom – Great leaders have deep connection with their inner wisdom, having learned from their experiences, and knowing how to trust themselves.
  • Trustworthiness – You’ll learn the key elements of cultivating trust in yourself and from others.

In the realm of personal skills, you’ll get to know yourself really well. You’ll learn to deal constructively with feelings and emotions, something that is too often overlooked and yet so important as we navigate the emotional ups and downs that can come with running a business and navigating life. We offer many tools for managing time effectively and staying joyfully productive, avoiding procrastination, and staying focused. You’ll also learn how to plan and balance your life and work in realistic, healthy ways that nourish you rather than generate burnout or overwhelm.

As for community skills, you’ll be interacting with your peers, learning to encourage and support one another. You’ll learn to provide gentle feedback that benefits others, and receive feedback openly.  With the help of your mentor, you’ll receive guidance on dealing with differences and conflicts you have with others, in or out of the Parzival program.  We want you to feel confident and compassionate in relating with others, while staying true to who you are.

There are a number of things that make the journey with Parzival Academy unique to other gap year and continuing education programs. The Parzival program:

  • Stays with you as a source of inspiration and grounding through all of life
  • Supports meeting life’s inevitable thresholds that test, challenge and expand us
  • Cultivates resilience, compassion, and courage to move through eye of needle
  • Is far beyond a high school graduate gap year, being a program that can integrate for any stage of young adulthood from ages 18-28
  • Offers personalized 1:1 mentorship and coaching for every student
  • Cultivates the socio-entrepreneurial spirit to serve all aspects of life and vocation
  • Provides a community that serves both the individual and the group

What makes Parzival Academy special is our unique blend of socio-entrepreneurial skills, and personal self-building skills

You’ll get personalized attention to cultivate these skills in a safe space that generates a sense of trust and support. We believe that education is about more than learning cognitive skills and putting them to use. We care about educating the whole person, supporting students to feel confident in who they are and how they show up in the world. 

Most online training programs are self-study based, and few include a live component. Not only does Parzival have live group trainings on a weekly basis, but we also offer personal 1 to 1 mentoring for every student, every week

There’s no doubt education is moving more and more to online platforms, but we don’t believe it needs to be impersonal or lacking in depth. 

We are initiated by our relationships. In today’s fast paced world, there are few cultural rights-of-passage celebrated anymore. We’re asked to pay attention to our relationships and what they show us. In doing so, we learn more about ourselves and grow as a person.

Few people pay adequate attention to relationships. Parzival Academy encourages you to connect with intention to your mentors, instructors and others students. In this connection, you’ll learn so much more about yourself.  We encourage you to ask questions, make mistakes, and trust that in vulnerability there is strength. 

Your mentor will be there as a guide not only for the practical side of education, but also as a guide to support you with whatever challenges you’re facing in your life.  Your mentor will have resources to refer you to additional support if you need it, and offer you a safe space to learn and grow. 

Students are encouraged to support one another with inclusivity, honesty, and compassion. You’ll be building amazing relationships in Parzival that will last a lifetime if you’re willing to open yourself to them.

Absolutely!

Parzival’s founders are passionate about community building, and they’ve built communities out of which the best of friends have been made. Many friends have chosen to visit each other in other countries and states, and not only cultivate their online relationship, but also connect in person. 

You’ll be connecting with other students in discussion pods, study-buddy connections, small group activities, and authentic relating games. You’ll also connect with friends in our online group forum, sharing questions, encouragement, and your skills. 

The many opportunities to interact with your peers and mentors will cultivate special, lasting friendships. 

Definitely.

You’ll be expected to commit to the trainings and projects, but all meetings are recorded and can be reviewed outside of the live delivery times. So, if you have a job that conflicts with the lessons, you can still get the information. 

However, we do expect you to attend as much as possible and arrange your work schedule accordingly. We believe that the quality of your learning is contingent upon your active participation and engagement in the group.

One thing you will need to do is meet with your mentor weekly to ensure you’re getting your needs met and staying on track with the learning and development. You’ll also need to plan your time wisely for completing projects and staying on track, but Parzival helps you with that!

Having a job while participating in the Parzival program is a great way to gain experience, relate with others, and pay for the program. In fact, just 15 hours per week at $15 per hour will more than pay for the program in one year. Of course you can choose to have a job with more hours if you need as well. We’ve made the program accessible for students, whether they can pay up front with support from family, or have to earn income to pay for it themselves. 

We estimate an average of 15 hours weekly to attend the live trainings, mentoring sessions, and Q&A sessions, as well as tend to the assignments and projects we ask you to take up each week.

The required hours can change week to week, requiring a bit more or less depending on the assignments, your prior experience, and/or how quickly you’re able to implement. 

Parzival Academy is not focused on establishing a business during the program (though that’s certainly possible and we can mentor you if that’s something you’re already doing), getting formal academic education, or specific career skills training. 

Parzival’s program brings all the things so many young adults say they “didn’t get” or “wish they got” in high school or even college. We focus on preparing young adults for life in ways that align with who they uniquely are, and complement whatever other training, jobs, businesses or experiences they choose to step into. 

How do I enroll in the Parzival Academy?

To participate in Parzival Academy, we ask that you have a high school diploma or GED equivalent. 

Beyond that, we ask that you come with a courageous spirit and curiosity. We want you to bring your creativity and inspiration. 

You’ll be discovering your passions, and stepping into the person you are here to be. Parzival Academy is a place of inclusivity, encouragement, compassion and care. We bring generosity and openness to all that we do. 

If you are truly committed to learning, growing and opening to new possibilities, you will fit in at Parzival.

A high school diploma is not an absolute requirement. You can also have a GED equivalent.

If neither of these are possible for you, and you’re sincerely interested building a business while learning more about yourself, contact us and we’ll discuss what’s possible for you. 

 

You can.

We will make every effort to schedule mentoring sessions that work for you each week at a reasonable time.

You may find that some live sessions will be less accessible to you, but you can easily listen to recordings of those and stay up to speed with the program.

 

 

You’ll want to be sure you have a good internet connection with a video camera for group calls. This is a must. We encourage you to create a Google account if you don’t already have one. 

We’ll be offering orientation information as we get closer to the program starting, which will have additional preparatory details.

What are the pricing and financial details?

The cost of the program is $8,500. Upon acceptance, we ask for a $1,500 non-refundable deposit, with the balance due before the program begins.

This cost includes the tuition for the full program, as well as lodging and meals for two in-person weeks, one for orientation and one for graduation, to be held in the mountains of Colorado.  Transportation to/from the in-person gatherings is not included. There may also be some nominal expenses for supplies or materials for required projects throughout the program at your discretion.

For those in need, we do offer a limited number of partial scholarships. If you’re interested in applying, there is a spot on the application form to indicate whether you are in need of a scholarship. We will work with you to see what’s possible. 

In certain circumstances, we can also work with you to have multiple payments instead of one up front payment. 

We ask that you understand that Parzival’s program is a 9 month commitment. There are those who will be turned away if we fill our spots, and we ask that you only apply if you are sincere about making the commitment to complete the program.

Refund Policy: Deposits for the program are non-refundable, and once the program begins, no refunds are issued for tuition paid.

We are happy to work with you if there are extenuating circumstances that require you to step out of the program, and decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

Students afford the Parzival program in a variety of ways.

You can receive support from parents or family members willing to invest in your education and future.

You can seek employment to help you pay for the program. At $15 per hour, you would only have to work 15 hours per week for 9 months to more than cover the cost of the program.  This assumes you have other means of covering your living expenses, but also leaves room for additional hours of employment as needed.

You can fundraise from your community to help you with this venture.  

There are many creative ways to afford the program if you’re willing to look for them. We’ve made the program very affordable by comparison to college tuitions and other similar mastermind type programs. 

We’re happy to talk to you about need based partial scholarships too, or to help you brainstorm creative ways to make Parzival Academy possible for you.

Parzival’s program incorporates project-based learning. There may be various supplies we ask you to get in preparation for certain projects, but there would never be more than an average of $100 in any month for additional fees, and these additional costs will typically be at the discretion of the student based on their project needs. 

Transportation to/from our in-person Colorado mountain retreats for orientation and graduation from the program is not included in the program cost of $8,500. There would be additional expenses to cover costs of airfare, transport, etc., but lodging and meals are completely included for those weeks. 

Feel free to contact us if you have concerns here and we can help you clarify any potential costs beyond the tuition for the program.  

We did a lot of research to consider what a program like this should cost, while being reasonable for the students and covering the expenses to bring a quality education. We understand that a program like this is an investment, and that there are other options out there, even if not quite like Parzival.

First, we looked at gap year programs. Many gap year programs cost anywhere from $3,000 to $30,000 depending on the extent of the program. Shorter, less intensive programs are on the low end of the spectrum, while extensive travel-based or in-person programs are on the upper end. Most of these programs only last up to 6 months in duration.

We also considered college education, and the knowing that Parzival’s program can serve as a college alternative or compliment. In the United States, in-state college tuition averages around $9,500 for one year, making a 4 year program’s tuition $38,000.  If you travel out of state or go to a private college, that price tag goes up to an average of nearly $130,000 for a 4 year program. This doesn’t take into account the room and board expenses associated with going away to college.

We looked at online business and personal development mastermind programs, which tend to be geared toward adults seeking community and continued education.  These programs range from $1,200 to $25,000 for one year depending on how much personal attention is offered. 

Finally, we considered what it would take for a high school student to work to pay for the program.  Most high school graduates can find hourly jobs that pay around $15 per hour, and at that rate, they would only have to work 15 hours per week for less than 9 months to pay for the program. This assumes that they have their living expenses covered, while allowing for additional work time if needed. 

Every Parzival student will get one-on-one mentorship time every week for 9 months. That kind of personalized attention is almost unheard of in any of the options we’ve compared to. They also receive lifetime access to all of the training materials and recorded courses, and a curated support community, which will help them continue to meet personal, vocational, and leadership challenges with ongoing support.

The pricing for Parzival’s 9 month intensive, personalized program is an affordable and valuable option for high school graduates. Parzival Academy supports students to find their passion and discover what really matters to them, without spending a lot of money on courses or degrees they may not be sure they want.  Our program is also a great option if one has developed or would like to develop additional skills to apply to their work or business, allowing them to get additional training as desired without the same price tag that a typical 4 year degree would have.

 

What will I be able to do upon completing Parzival Academy?

 

Graduation eligibility will be determine based on:

  • Attendance at live group discussions
  • Attendance at mentorship sessions
  • Participation in the group forum
  • Assessments
  • Projects/Work Completed
A certificate of completion will be issued and offered based on a certain level of credits earned for participation in the eligibility requirements above. 

 

The the types of careers or businesses you might be able to step into after graduating from Parzival Academy are only limited by your imagination and your drive to learn and explore.

Our goal is to give you practical tools and skills that make you a valuable asset to any work you choose to apply yourself to and to those you choose to serve.

Parzival students are trained on how to tap into their unique gifts and strengths, and align with their unique values as they move into the world with confidence. Additionally, students learn to cultivate a strong sense of self and the capacity for healthy, fulfilling relationships.

When you feel on purpose and able to be effective, you bring joy and fulfillment to your life and to others. And, you make a difference in the world with your wisdom and influence. With your creativity, unique gifts and focused commitment, the possibilities are endless!

Cultivating the socio-entrepreneurial spirit isn’t about auditioning for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. This isn’t about external validation, or what the world thinks of you.

Parzival Academy is about learning how to create the authentic life you want to live on your own terms. This is about right livelihood and inner fulfillment. And if perhaps you become rich and famous along the way, you will have done that in alignment with Parzival’s values of authenticity and wisdom. It’ll simply be a gift that allows you to share even more significantly your gifts with the world.

We value a sustainable, sincere, authentic approach to life and vocation that results in a sense of true joy and fulfillment in whatever way that is true for you.

The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.
W.H. Murray
The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

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