Purpose of this page: To be clear about words used to define and fulfill our mission.


  • Belonging: feeling valued as a member of a community.
  • Body-level connection: attunement with physical, mental, and emotional states of being (including in challenging and restoring oneself).
  • Challenging: stressing the body or mind (e.g., by training) in a way that produces a neurological signal to get stronger.
  • Civic engagement: addressing issues of public concern, as well as building skills to do that effectively.
  • Collaboration: working with others as partners.
  • Community-engaged learning: a blend of academic learning, civic learning, and community collaboration.
  • Community engagement project: working with members of a community on something impacting them.
  • Connection: a bond or linkage within or between people, ideas, or other things. The strongest types allow for powerful relating and are made possible through being mindful/present (e.g., in other people’s worlds when connecting with them).
  • Earth-level connection: attunement with a planetary consciousness, natural rhythms, or biological systems.
  • Group-level connection: attunement with community needs and interests, including in partnerships, families, teams, organizations, nations, or humanity.
  • Mindfulness: being aware of our thoughts, words, beliefs, attitudes, and actions (and those of others when possible).
  • Project: a series of actions with an organizing purpose.
  • Restoring: using actions (like sleeping, eating, or meditating) that allow the body to adapt to being challenged by getting stronger.
  • Winning: a sense of purpose, belonging, and fulfillment becoming common.

How we stand for connection at 3 levels

  • Taking responsibility for our actions and impacts (including by evaluating them), starting with educators, learners, and others involved having powerful project experiences
  • Having the courage to experiment, learn, take on big and complex challenges, identify and take on weaknesses, etc.
  • Using creativity and resourcefulness to find and capitalize on opportunities, human potential, and resources
  • Building community through teamwork to work in ways that empower all participants
  • Seeing possibility in people, relationships, and the present moment
  • Balancing challenge and restoration, use of time or energy, and relationships (with people, work, pleasure, substances, hobbies, the Earth, etc.)