Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Howard Thurman

To practice the same thing over and over again, while others are enjoying themselves; to push oneself from the easy part to the hard part; to listen to criticism and use it; to reject one’s own work and try again.

W. Arthur Lewis

Mastery at Avenues assumes in-depth pursuit of an interest of the student’s own choosing. To develop mastery of an area, students need the opportunity to develop meaningful passion for something, seek out mentors, and organize a range of experiences that culminate in a long-term, customized project. The heart of mastery is intrinsic reward—the beautiful engagement of one's passions in pursuit of excellence.

  1. Students pursue an area in depth for multiple years.
  2. Students produce a capstone project or experience that has undergone multiple iterations.
  3. Students engage in small communities of peers dedicated to similar work.
  4. Student mastery projects are guided by Avenues mentors.
  5. Students share their final projects with the larger community (both Avenues and outside groups).

Ken Robinson, The Elements: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, Creativity

Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool, Peak

Robert Greene, Mastery

E. Paul Torrance, "The Importance of Falling in Love with Something"