In my own life, as the son of a 15-year-old unwed mother who struggled to make ends meet, I greatly benefited from the transformative nature of great advice, which came mostly from outside my immediate family network, and led me to West Point and the Wharton Business School at U Penn. With the complications of the world we live in and the big issues that future generations will face, I wanted to do my part and leave a legacy so that young people could have an opportunity to accelerate learning and growing through a digital platform that they could access anytime and anywhere. That’s why I created TurtleWise.
TurtleWise is a unique online advice and mentoring platform that matches experienced advisors (Gurus) with those seeking advice (Explorers). Most of our user base are Millennials or younger and have many meaningful questions on how to navigate important issues in life. TurtleWise aims to eliminate barriers of access, geography, time; we deliver this vital support in a familiar online channel for young people and the tech-literate. When we launched in 2016, our focus was on six clusters of excellence (Politics, Career, Lifestyle and Family, Military, Entrepreneurship and Education) but we’ve added several more clusters, based on the experience of our growing user base.
For me, the satisfaction that comes with helping someone else, especially those less fortunate, early in life, or helping those who have difficulty finding good advice elsewhere, is indescribably rewarding. I hope their world view and possible solution set to each person’s particular challenges are broadened and that ultimately, our users get to where their potential can take them instead of where their current circumstances might lead. Early indications are that the TurtleWise platform and our community of advisors is achieving just that. An additional benefit is that TurtleWise users are encouraged to be both advice-seekers and -givers. This opportunity can be transformational, as it was in my own life: It wasn’t until I balanced my dedication to lifelong learning (seeking advice and mentorship wherever I could find it) with my desire to give back (building significant self-esteem by teaching a standard test at my previous grade school to kids who had failed several times and finally passed, with my help) that my personal advancement moved into overdrive.
I believe that good advice at an early age can change an individual’s trajectory and thus, change the world.
For more ideas and opportunities to help kids in your community this summer, take the Gen2Gen Summer Challenge!