Life After VFS
As students move on from VFS, they do so with the core values of our community at heart. Young people have the ability to reflect on society and culture, determining how to continue the practice of being the change they want to see in the world. Having the encouragement and experience of thoughtful and intentional decision making, VFS produces people who are confident, capable, and clear in their path. Not only have they done the work of learning to deal with themselves and how to be with others, they have the resiliency to trust in the process of finding their own measure of success in their journey and lifestyle.
In keeping with core VFS philosophy, the graduation process itself is highly individualized, and challenges students to stretch beyond their comfort zones. "In order to graduate you had to complete four challenges: Self-Reliance, Professional, Service, and Self-Knowledge," writes VFS grad Wyatt (2014) of her experience. "These were things personally tailored to your own strengths and weaknesses, decided upon and discussed with a committee that usually included a staff member, a fellow student, and someone else from the community like a parent or friend. I found my Self-Reliance challenge the most valuable, because it was definitely the most challenging and the most fun.
“When they hear about the graduation process, I've heard several adults say that everyone should do something similar at that age, and I agree that it was a very detailed and introspective look into my own personal strengths and weaknesses. I think it's a great way to prepare for the world outside of VFS.”
"Every piece of the process made me grow," says Annika, who graduated in 2017. "I think it measured our readiness for life after the free school better than any standardized test, because frankly every person has a different path they want to take, and it encourages people to look for their own path, and start down it."
VFS graduates go to college, intern, find work, and move into the world firmly rooted in a place of personal power and knowledge.