About Our Alumni


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Alumna Talia Winningham, Class of ’07


I began my time after Youth Initiative with a year of college at Maharishi University of Management (MUM) in my hometown of Fairfield, Iowa. At MUM I mainly took classes within the sustainable living and art majors. I also took a month-long course in South Africa, where we studied their culture and history, participated in a global youth conference, and went on Safari in wildlife preserves, learning about plants and animals native to the area. 

After my year at MUM I was feeling unclear about what I wanted out to get out of school, so I decided to take a year off to figure it out. My year off was one of the most difficult of my life, and I ended up feeling lost most of the time.  Nonetheless, I managed to work at an apple orchard in Vermont for the fall, hold a few odd jobs, volunteer at an elementary school in my hometown, and go on a two-week road trip down south. 

By the end of the year I had decided I was ready to be a in more structured program, so I decided to do Leapyear. Leapyear is a fully accredited gap-year program that alternates spiritual retreats with travels abroad and focuses on the cultivation of the whole human being. During my Leapyear I had retreats in northern California and spent my first semester abroad in Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru. I volunteered with various organizations, took Spanish classes, and trekked the desert of Argentina and the Inca trail to Machu Pichu in Peru. In my second semester I returned to Peru and did an apprenticeship with a silversmith, taught English through a volunteer organization, and took salsa and Spanish classes. 

When I finished Leapyear I transferred into Warren Wilson College, which is where I am now. At Warren Wilson I have developed my own major through their Integrative Studies program and am scheduled to receive my undergraduate degree in 2014. Even with plans in place, I still like to take things one year at a time. 

Eamon Heberlein, ’09


 Eamon Heberlein graduated from YIHS in 2009 and was accepted to Deep Springs College on the Nevada-California border.  Deep Springs offers only an associates degree in the liberal arts, yet its holistic and rigorous curriculum draws some of the best young minds in the country to spend two years rustling cattle and wrestling with the questions at the very core of the human condition.

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Silas Hundt, ’07


​Click here to check out Silas’ innovative educational financing company.

Into the Great Wide Open


Check out alumnus Eamon Heberlein’s senior project

The unique and powerful experience of a YIHS education naturally leads to a unique and empowered life.  Our alumni are not only accepted to a wide variety of colleges but are also part of a movement to redefine the post-secondary educational experience.  Before going to college many of our students embark on global travel, service projects, and much more.  Why?  They’ve learned that they can help make the world a better place, right now.  Below are a few of our alumni and their stories…

For Our Alumni

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