Why Wayfinder
Research-Backed

Founded at Stanford + Based on The Latest Child + Adolescent Research

Learn More About the Research Base for our K-12 Curriculum and Activities

SEL + Life Readiness Solutions Backed by Evidence

Wayfinder was born at the Stanford d.school K-12 lab to support student purpose and belonging in and outside of the classroom. Our curriculum is deeply rooted in research that shows it is vital for students (and all humans!) to experience belonging and purpose. These two things are the foundation for happy, balanced, and successful lives.
The Importance of Belonging For Students
At Wayfinder, we define belonging as the acceptance, inclusion, and valuing of our and others’ fullest selves, without shifting or changing who we are to meet expectations.
Why is belonging so important for students to experience at school?
Research has shown that people who report a sense of belonging are more likely to have healthy self-esteem, self-efficacy, and life satisfaction. Experiencing belonging is also an important pillar for student well-being, can protect against the negative effects of stress, and is associated with more feelings of happiness.

Curious to see how this research translates to engaging student activities? Download a sample lesson!
How Purpose Connects Students to Their Future

Purpose connects us to what matters to us and gives our lives direction. We define living with purpose as having overarching life aspirations that are at once personally meaningful and contribute to the world beyond ourselves.

Research has shown that purpose and SEL are essential to support student well-being. Students who develop purpose are more likely to stay in school and do well academically. Having purpose also reduces bullying and antisocial behavior. Students with purpose can excel at challenging tasks and setbacks, and are more engaged in school.

Interested in trying out a lesson backed by research? Download a sample lesson!

“The biggest problem growing up today is not actually stress; it’s meaninglessness.”
Dr. Bill Damon
Stanford Center on Adolescence

How Our Students Feel About Wayfinder

Wayfinder recently partnered with the Rise Initiative to pilot a six-week virtual program designed for students to develop lives of meaning and purpose. When asked the question: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend Wayfinder to a friend,” the average student-facing score was 8.9/10.

Our Research Advisory Council

At Wayfinder, we define belonging as the acceptance, inclusion, and valuing of our and others’ fullest selves, without shifting or changing who we are to meet expectations.

Skylar Bantley
San Francisco, CA
Ishani Parekh
London, England
Alexx Temeña
Chicago, IL
Aran Levasseur
San Anselmo, CA
Hye Jung Kim
Honolulu, HI
Kate Weiler
London, England
Ifeyinwa (Ify) Anako
New York, NY
Caroline Bonner
Santiago, Chile
Kelsea Combs
Brighton, MI
Mariana Garza
Nairobi, Kenya
Stephen Holcomb
Irving, TX
Jenelle Peterson
Waipahu, HI
Tamara Wells
Phoenix, AZ
Alexis Newman
Sanford, FL