6 Stepping Stones into Young Adulthood


How do young people intentionally transition from adolescence to young adulthood?  It wasn’t too long ago that this transition happened rather rapidly.  In a matter of only a few years, a child could assume adulthood.  Yet, today experts say it can take 10-15 years to make the transition.  Numerous factors contribute to this prolonging of arrival to adulthood.  Yet, it is as though the passage has moved from crossing a small creek bed to navigating a wide, rushing river.  At this point in time, it seems like our culture does not offer much guidance into how we grow and mature into healthy adults.  How do we cross this river now?  We graduate from high school and somehow hope to stumble into adult life by (A) completing college, (B) getting a full time job, (C) getting married, (D) having kids.  It’s as though we stand at the crossing of a raging river and are left to our own devices as to how we navigate to the other side.

This podcast takes you into ‘6 Stepping Stones’ of growth towards young adulthood.  Luke Parrott gives an overview of these critical areas of development that KIVU spends time developing over the course of the program.  Those 6 areas are:

  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
  • Cultural Competence (CQ)
  • Faith Ownership & Integration
  • Family & Belonging
  • Passion & Calling
  • Justice & Compassion

We believe these stepping stones give students a route across the ever widening river of transition to young adulthood.  By focusing on these 6 areas, our students can make their first decision after high school their best decision.  It also provides a great launching pad for students to enter college and life beyond in a more comprehensive and holistic way.  A gap year is about putting the right stepping stones in place to navigate across the waters of growing into adulthood.  We hope you enjoy this podcast!

How A Gap Year Changes Your Brain

What if a Gap Year actually had the added benefit of changing the neuro pathways in your brain?

That’s right.  New science is coming out showing that extensive travel and experience can literally change the way your synapses are connected.

In a recent Atlantic Article  neurologists talk about the importance of travel immersion as it relates to creative “neuro-plasticity.”

“In general, creativity is related to neuroplasticity, or how the brain is wired. Neural pathways are influenced by environment and habit, meaning they’re also sensitive to change: New sounds, smells, language, tastes, sensations, and sights spark different synapses in the brain and may have the potential to revitalize the mind.”

Another article in the Guardian gives a similar benefit.

Traveling and living abroad can also affect the way we interact with people. Research by Dr Julia Zimmermann and Dr Franz Neyer compared the personality development of a large sample of German university students who had studied abroad for at least one semester with a non-travelling group.

The results showed that those who studied abroad were generally higher in extraversion than those who chose not to travel during their studies: the travellers were likely to enjoy being around other people more than being alone. When they returned home after travelling, the participants also tended to show an increase in openness to new experiences, agreeableness and emotional stability.

Or if you’re looking for an empirical way to develop leadership, you can read this paper on travel and what it means to develop into a leader.  Neuroscienceofleadership_article_06207 copy

Overall, we believe the KIVU Gap Year is helping students emotionally, culturally, academically, and now BIOLOGICALLY to develop into the leaders for the future.

Listen in below to Andy and Luke talk about what it means to see creative brains develop.  Or you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes under The KIVU Gap Year.

Finding Your Passion and Calling


Vocare is a word we use at KIVU to describe where purpose and passion converge in our lives.  In this interview, Luke Parrott talks with Greg Fuchs about how the Denver program intentionally develops young adults in their passion and calling.

Learn how our program helps students identify their passions, avoid burnout, and open up space and time to be reflective leaders.

Learning the Power of Story


This week’s podcast features Josh Benjamin, our South America Director at KIVU Gap Year!  He walks us through the power of story in students lives and ways that we help them grow into a more healthy version of themselves.

Josh gives us a practical example of how we walks alongside students in his curriculum in South America.  Everyone has a story of value and worth.  So does yours!  Tune in today!