Why Wayfinder
Research Backed

Proven to Boost Student Performance

Students who use Wayfinder demonstrate statistically significant improvement in three key measures: purpose, engagement, and social awareness

student using Wayfinder

Our Research + Outcomes

Students who completed the Wayfinder program experienced many positive outcomes, including:    


Increase in key measures of Purpose


Could name their strengths and connect them to real life


More likely to
feel confident about
their futures
Independent research done by Stanford University and student self-reports confirm that students who use our curriculum demonstrate significant improvement in key categories.

2021-2022 Independent Program Evaluation

Stanford University researcher, Dr. Heather Malin, completed this independent evaluation at a high school near San Francisco, CA during the 2021-2022 school year. Pre- and post-program surveys were administered to students who participated in the Wayfinder curriculum and to a control group at the same school who did not engage with our curriculum.
the results
Wayfinder students scored higher than the control group in all measures, demonstrating statistically significant improvement on four of the six measures, including: 
Sense of purpose, goal commitment, beyond-the-self motivation.

Interest in and enthusiasm for their classes.

Social Awareness
Positive social behaviors such as listening to others and respecting others’ views.

Our Research Advisory Council

Dr. Bill Damon
Stanford Center on Adolescence + Author, Path to Purpose
Dr. Aneel Chima
Founding Director of the Stanford Flourishing Project + Associate Executive Director of the Contemplative Sciences Center at UVA
Dr. Susie Wise
Stanford's K12 Lab + Adjunct Professor Stanford d.school
Vicki Zakrzewski
Education Director
UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center
Emily Esfahani Smith
The Power of Meaning + NY Times Contributor
Heather Malin, Ph.D
Stanford Center on Adolescence

Explore The Harvard EASEL Lab Profile

The Harvard EASEL Lab recently did an in-depth analysis of Wayfinder's high school curriculum, evaluating all components of the Wayfinder program.
the results
The Harvard EASEL Lab recently did an in-depth analysis of Wayfinder's high school curriculum, evaluating all components of the Wayfinder program.They found our SEL program supports students to learn skills like:
Critical thinking
Prosocial behaviors

Wayfinder was started at the Stanford d.school using the latest child and adolescent research from Dr. Bill Damon, and other leaders in the field. Everything we create is evidence-based, research-backed, and rooted in human-centered design.
student experiencing belonging
Have greater levels of self-confidence
Manage stress better
Have stronger relationships with peers + teachers
Show high levels of motivation + achievement
student experiencing purpose
Increase academic engagement
Achieve higher grade point averages
Show higher levels of prosocial behavior
Have higher levels of self-motivation

About the RISE Program

Wayfinder partnered with the RISE Initiative for a six-week virtual program designed for students to develop lives of meaning and purpose. RISE Students from over 33 different countries Zoomed into six 1.5 hour Wayfinder facilitated sessions.

The RISE program was a tremendous success! Students showed growth in core competencies, 60-70 students a week overcame challenges of connectivity and time differences to attend, and students responded with overwhelmingly positive evaluations in real-time during the course.

Students Reported the Following
I know what matters to me
I know my strengths and how I can use them in my life
I have confidence in my ability to make a positive contribution in my community and the world
I know what brings me joy and how to create that in my life