Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness. – Leo Tolstoy
What if young people discovered that they were part of an intricately designed masterpiece that included a purpose much bigger than themselves?
What if they were to join a movement of trailblazers determined to find their place – and then prepare the way for others to flourish in the plan?
What if this “someday” became today – where rising leaders were equipped to love God through service to others?
Veritas Institute for Leadership and Innovation (founded in 2009) is located in the Bay Area and ideally situated to serve as a hub for educating the next generation of entrepreneurial visionaries. The region offers access to premier institutions of higher education, pockets of tremendous wealth, and Silicon Valley. Yet at the same time, the region suffers from tremendous social and economic challenges. As students are encouraged to explore their unique God-given callings, creative processes, inspirations, and potentials – we encourage them to see a world full of extraordinary possibilities.
In 2012, Veritas founder created the Caritas Scholars Program and Social Entrepreneurship Lab and launched at Pacific Bay Christian School (formerly Alma Heights Christian Schools). It is believed to be the nation’s first faith-based entrepreneurial leadership program designed to equip high school students to respond to social problems. As Caritas Scholars develop a passion that drives their compassion for the world, they are encouraged to identify specific social issues and implement viable solutions for those challenges.
At Veritas, we exist to provide education with a purpose to students of all ages. We are using a Gospel-centered design process to enable students to translate ideas of educational and life success into meaningful action-oriented towards others. This unique process is an incarnational, iterative methodology that centers upon faith as the foundational source of human dignity, empathy for the human condition, and for the development of innovative solutions to societal challenges.
Our vision is to inspire and connect inter-generational, multi-national innovative, Christ-following leaders who will understand the past, impact the present, and dream of what can be in the future.
Aspiring Ministers. Technologists. Doctors. Filmmakers. Professional Athletes. Musicians. Social Entrepreneurs. Veritas is preparing emerging Christian luminaries to realize their full potential – to love God and serve others well. Our interdisciplinary, award-winning, purpose-driven model equips students of all ages to explore and discover their mission in the world through a series of workshops, mentorship experiences, and student-led projects.
A recent study suggests 65% of students will be employed in jobs that have not yet been created. So whether a student is still in the discovery process or feels “the call” to find a cure for cancer, bring an end to modern slavery, or contribute in any other capacity – Veritas Institute empowers rising leaders with an “entrepreneurial leadership toolkit” to cultivate lives of significance in every sphere of influence. Regardless of the station in life they might find themselves now or in the future (ie. student, parent, barista, teacher, waitress, or lawyer), the primary goal is that each individual might find themselves – by the grace of God – fully engaged in His restorative work in the world.
The Missing Piece in 21st Century Education:
Across the United States, we are facing a significant crisis where one in four students drop out of school (Boostup.org). Ironically, this isn’t just a problem in underserved, under-resourced communities. A recent Washington Post article noted that talented, affluent young people who attend top schools are also struggling to find meaning in their academics and in life. The education crisis is not just one of students dropping out of school, but also of overachievement as reported in the New Republic. Many students are taught that the idea of “giftedness” only applies to a select few and explains the intense pressure to perform as they are defined solely by their test scores and the colleges they gain entrance to.
In both cases, as many leading scholars concur, the core problem is that many young people lack a sense of purpose. They do not connect their achievement with some greater plan or purpose for their life. They don’t understand what they are here for.
“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
What can we do about it?
With the current crisis in American education, one might ask: what is the purpose of education? It has long been argued that academic, technological, scientific, and financial achievements must be placed in the context of overall societal advancement. Through the Veritas Institute model, rising leaders make this vital connection between education and their life calling – as they discover their unique place and God’s purpose for their lives through service to others.
Rather than focusing exclusively on external measures of success, Veritas participants are taught how to lead lives of meaning as they understand that the purpose of their educational pursuits involves being concerned about the spiritual and physical healing of those around them. They understand that God chose – out of all time – this time to bring them into the world to find solutions to society’s most pressing issues.
Interestingly, Neuroscience research confirms a specific connection between doing good for others and a positive outlook on life. God wired the human brain to thrive with a purpose!
Where does purpose ultimately come from?
“No idea short of God’s call can ground and fulfill the truest human desire for purpose and fulfillment.” – Os Guinness
“A calling is something you discover, not something you choose.” – John Ortberg
“It is using one’s endowed giftedness to serve the world with excellence, and through that service, to love and honor God.” – Arthur Miller
Veritas Institute is an S.F. Bay Area faith-based think tank that merges purpose-driven entrepreneurship and innovation with vocation through its flagship educational programs. Soli Deo Gloria.
Veritas participants have been recognized for outstanding citizen leadership by city officials and Bay Area leaders, including former Pacifica Mayor Karen Ervin; Daly City Vice-Mayor, David Canepa; U.S. Consul General, Ana Valenzuela Canepa; and Chris Bennet of the Stanford University Peace Innovation Lab. They have also been offered internship opportunities through the U.C. Berkeley Center for Financial Engineering, Stanford University, Geometry Global, the Institute of Business Innovation at Haas, and the Pacifica Chamber of Commerce.