What is Embark Center?


“What is Embark Center?”

Embark Center is a community of learners and serves as a resource center for youth and families who wish to have more autonomy in their learning and lives.

Embark Center provides youth with an alternative option for creating a meaningful, relevant life. It is based upon the groundbreaking work of NorthStar: Self-Directed Learning for TeensThe NorthStar model supports youth in their desire to live and learn without school.

Embark Center is NOT a school. Attendance is voluntary, classes/workshops/tutorials are optional, there are no grades or assessments. At Embark, learning is experiencing and, eventually, knowing. Learning is life.


“Who Chooses a Self-Directed Learning Center Like Embark?”

Anyone can! But, typically, membership is made up of youth who:

  • range in age from 13-19. Although, we will consider younger members on a case-by-case basis.
  • have grown increasingly frustrated by the constraints of traditional schooling,
  • have tried, unsuccessfully, to create a meaningful existence in one or more school-like settings.
  • are ready to try something different that allows them to follow their own path in their own way at their own pace.

Sometimes, these youth and their families have already embraced “alternative” living in other areas of their lives. Many times, they have not.


“How Do I Find Out More?”

Contact our director, Andrea Cubelo-McKay, to schedule time to talk.

Check out How It Works and our Guiding Principles!


Embark Center for Self-Directed Learning is a member of Liberated Learners, a national network of self-directed learning centers with member programs across the United States and Canada.