True North’s Search for Home

Create a space for Self-Directed Education (SDE) in the Santa Barbara area by creating a village-like setting that would maintain regular programming with mixed aged attendees, facilitators, and junior mentors.



Reimagining learning for the whole person.



True North Values


The future is in the hands of the creative community builders, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. The skills we need to foster will never be learned in a culture of "Sit down, be quiet, and do what I say." At True North our vision is to create a space for authentic learning based on four basic premises as outlined by the Agile Learning Center.


Learning: Learning is natural. It's happening all the time, everywhere.

Self-Direction: People learn best by making their own decisions.

Children are people.

Experience: People learn more from their culture and environment than

from the content they are taught. The medium is the message.

Growth: Self-awareness and collective intelligence is catalyzed through

cycles of intention, creation, reflection and sharing

About True North


True North is almost 2 years old and it is part of a global movement of

self-directed learning communities that is growing rapidly throughout

the world. We are not a school in the conventional sense. We do not

offer diplomas, credits, or grades. Rather, True North offers an

alternative to school where children learn in the ways that suit them

best.  Our True North learning community is currently made up of 26

learners between the ages of 4 and 13, their families and 9 facilitators

who meet 5 days a week in outdoor locations. 

Help us find a home!

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." 

~ Buckminster Fuller

Imagine a place where you go to enjoy learning with others of all ages, a place somewhere between a community center, a farm, a summer camp, or a retreat center with indoor and outdoor spaces for big projects to unfold such as natural building projects, permaculture projects, community art projects. Plenty of space to play and explore. Not a school, but a learning center -- an inspiring and supportive community space with resources! 

Since opening True North in August of 2020, we have enjoyed utilizing the beautiful wild spaces we are lucky enough to have access to here in Santa Barbara.  However, with the increase of outdoor programs we are feeling the available public spaces shrink in size. This reality of higher traffic in public spaces and the broader needs of our program's

learners encourages us to look for land to lease in the short-term. Our long-term goal is to purchase land when that opportunity becomes available.

Some ideas of what would work well for us:

- a ranch, farm or orchard with some extra land we could set up on; as well, just some wild     land we could access to set up on

- a structure that is available for our use such as a yurt, barn or house

- a place to construct a temporary shelter which could be moved when we find our more       permanent location; this structure could be a yurt, shipping container, or large canvas         tent

- an easy way for parents to pick up and drop off their children (we have about 10-16             children per day, Mon through Fri)

- located in Santa Barbara or Goleta

- setting up as early as August 2022

- we would be happy to sign an agreement for a 6 month 'trial period' with said land-               owner

- reasonable rent considering we are a new program that strives to stay accessible to all       income levels

If you or someone you know has a location for our program to consider, please contact Heather May Young, Program Director, at

805-345-9550 or

“Children, more than ever, need opportunities to be in their bodies in the world.

It’s this engagement between limbs of the body and bones of the earth

where true balance and centeredness emerge.”

~ David Sobel

Imagining possible spaces for True North...


To learn more in detail about our search for home, click here!