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Transitioning from high school & college

Co-Founder and Board President, Rick Schreiber, shares his own experience as a young adult

Rick with Cassiar and Utu in Juneau, Alaska, circa 1991, shortly after having moved there.

I went to a public high school in San Diego, California. I basically went through the motions. I attended classes, but had little interest in the subject matter. I graduated and then was stuck. What’s next? Since public school had not been engaging, attending college was not looking very attractive either.

Through high school I had a job at a lumber yard and it paid well for my age, but was this my future? I knew what I did not want to do, but I really had no idea what I wanted to pursue.

As a default, I attended community college; it was affordable and it bought me some time to figure out next steps. I attended for two years and got enough credits to transfer to a state university. I was starting to form some interest in cultural studies. Part of my interest here was to understand how other cultures went about trying to make sense of the world, since the culture I was brought up in was not very clear to me. Again, I attended classes and had side jobs to pay my way, but now I had increased interest in the subject matter as I chose what I wanted to study.

I graduated when I was 23 years old, but still had an unclear picture of my future. I had been going to Alaska to work during summer breaks while in college. I liked the opportunities for adventure there, so I finally made a big decision: I would move to Alaska! It was one of the first times I felt like I really committed to something that was my own doing. Going to college felt like it was something I was supposed to do, not something I really chose to do. It was society saying, “Do this or you may be in trouble later on.”

The decision to move to Alaska is still one of the most impactful decisions I have ever made in my life and it has been 28 years since that day. There are 28 years of adventures to share, but the real point here is that most people struggle at times to find their way. When I look back at those five years of floundering, and knowing what I know now, I see a big gap in support to help young adults get a leg up on what to do next and how to do what they want to do next.

When Schreiber is not busy bringing Thrive Nation coaching to young adults,

you’ll find him out on the golf course (in the snow even!) pursuing

one of his own passions that make him thrive.

What I’ve also come to realize – from all of the research we’ve done to understand young adults today and create services that are highly personalized and deeply helpful – is that the social, economic and cultural trends today are making for an even harder transition into and through young adulthood. (Keep an eye out for our next update on Giving Tuesday on November 28th when we’ll share these trends and some more Thrivers with you!)

This means there’s an even greater need for organizations such as Thrive Nation, so please help us spread the word by sharing this update and our website with your family, friends and contacts and please also consider making a donation yourself via so we can help more young adults to thrive!

Every single young adult is important. They can achieve their dreams and we’re here to help them do just that with the tools, processes and exercises we provide and the life skills we help cultivate through our one-on-one personalized coaching.

One Nation. Thrive Nation.

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