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Gap Year Panel


The Lasting Benefits of a Structured Year

Come learn about how a gap year can enhance the well-being and college-readiness in our pressured young adults. Julie Lythcott-Haims will lead a panel discussion about the tangible benefits this transformative experience can provide. Panelists will explore how a meaningful gap year helps students develop the skills and mindset needed to thrive in college and beyond. They will also share their views on what type of gap year experience is most likely to advance a student’s personal growth and provide a sense of purpose.

Julie will be joined by Richard Shaw, Dean of Undergraduate Admission at Stanford University, Abby Falik, Founder/CEO of Global Citizen Year, and gap year students, Ethan Caine (graduate of Crystal Springs Uplands School) and Grace Arnold (graduate of Castilleja School).

Julie Lythcott-Haims (moderator) served as the Dean of Freshmen and Undergraduate Advising at Stanford for more than a decade. She is The New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult, which gave rise to her popular 2016 TED Talk questioning the outcomes of the helicopter-parenting phenomenon. Her forthcoming book for young adults on how to be an adult follows her acclaimed prose poetry memoir Real American.

Richard H. Shaw, Stanford’s Dean of Admission and Financial Aid since 2005, is a nationally recognized leader in undergraduate admission, combining experience in both private and public institutions. He has over four decades of experience in admissions positions at Yale, University of Michigan, University of California-Berkeley and University of Colorado-Boulder.

Abby Falik, founder and CEO of Global Citizen Year, has seen firsthand the benefits that authentic exploration in a structured gap year provides for the students she serves. Ms. Falik is an award-winning entrepreneur and expert on social innovation and the changing landscape of education. She serves on the advisory boards of World Learning, Teach for All and the Harvard Business School.

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