This seminar is about the empowering of the individual mind, its capacity for rational thought – and that’s what’s at the core of true education.

2011 Great Connections Participant, Graduate Student in Applied Physics, Silicon Valley, CA


Ivy Hood

“The Great Connections Seminar was a life-changing experience.”

I realized that the Great Connections dialogues were a truly better way to go about learning. The seminars encouraged me to go about learning myself and to constantly work on developing my own philosophy towards life. Maybe it is cliché to say, but the Great Connections seminar was a life changing experience.

Ivy Hood2010 Great Connections Participant, senior, Hohenegah High School, Roscoe, IL
Jake Ilson

“My brain switched into a higher gear”

I feel like my brain switched into a higher gear of understanding, as if being challenged and pushed more than I’m used to helped me grow.

He came home a changed man, more adult and serious. Jake’s mom, Catherine Jeffrey.

Jake Ilson2009 Great Connctions Participant, junior, homeschooled high school, Matthews, NC
Liz Parker

“I gained a whole new confidence that i could grasp anything.”

Most of my college classes were a big disappointment. I normally struggle with ideas on my own, but say to myself “It’s not too important to understand,” to do well in college. But when you share with people, you find different ways to think about the readings and the ideas. It makes it more fun to read really hard texts. And with The Great Connections methodology, there’s no upstaging one another or seeing who knows the most. For example, we were reading Aristotle’s Metaphysics on The Principle of Non-Contradiction and we spent so long on just the first sentence, we were going crazy—and then, all of a sudden, someone said something that made it all clear, and I thought “Yes, that’s exactly what I understand it to mean!” I gained a whole new confidence that I could grasp anything, no matter how difficult. I can take things to their logical conclusion and hold my own with anyone by seeing if they’re contradicting themselves—it makes a big difference.

Liz Parker2009 Great Connections Participant, senior, George Mason University, Arlington, VA
Brendan Moore

“He was like Columbus, he’d discovered a new world.”

Meeting successful professionals who put into practice the concepts we studied empowered me to see career possibilities, and to look at my future with optimism rather than with the jaded cynicism of my professors.

Brendan got a broader sense of the world, listening and seeing new things. Teachers knew that he had potential, but they had their lesson plans. When he returned home from The Great Connections, he was like Columbus, he’d discovered a new world. It was like something was lit inside of him. He felt very validated, it gave him so much confidence in himself.

–Brendan’s dad, Patrick Moore.

Brendan Moore2013 Great Connections participant, junior, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA
Carmen Rodriguez Alcaron

“I feel more passionate”

What surprised me the most was how, in one week, I could learn so much and meet so many awesome people. I feel more passionate about whatever is coming for me now, knowing that while I learn I will be happy and aware of what the truth is and ways in which I can reach it.

Carmen Rodriguez Alcaron2014 Great Connections participant, junior, Michael Polanyi College, Guatemala City, Guatemala

These skills will help me in my college studies and career immensely.”

I came away with not only a better understanding of philosophy, psychology, economics, and education, but also a greater ability to express ideas, understand the ideas of others, and make connections between very different areas of thought. These skills will help me in my college studies and career immensely.

Nathan Gibes 2013 Great Connections Participant, senior, homeschooled high school, Augusta, MI
Jessica Murr

“Now I’m tutoring college students and getting paid for it!”

Previously, I was so reserved and uncomfortable with conversation that I emailed my mom rather than speak to her. Now, I not only talk to my mom all the time, I’m tutoring college students in person and getting paid for it!

Jessica Murr2012 Great Connections Participant, high school senior in Highland Community College program, Pecatonica, IL
Will Powers

“You will leave a better person”

I got a greater understanding of myself and the world around me from the seminar. I would recommend this seminar to others because you will leave a better person.

Will Powers2011 Great Connections Participant, B.A. Economics, Southern Methodist University