Through our work prior to and since founding GripTape, our team has heard from thousands of young people who express a deep, abiding desire to design, execute, and assess their own learning. And yet, far too often, these youth lack the resources, support, and decision-making control to pursue their passions.

GripTape is changing all of that. We operate with the resolute conviction that young people can and should drive their own learning. We walk this talk every day, placing decision-making authority into the hands of youth and designing alongside them to expand opportunities for young people to pursue their passions and chart their paths to success. What we see is surprising and powerful.

We use rapid, iterative cycles to develop, test, and refine our supports in service of learning and advancing the domain of learner agency. We aim to contribute to a deeper understanding of the skills, competencies, mindsets, and outcomes that develop when youth are given full control to drive their own learning. Our strong desire is that these efforts spur greater commitment to youth-led learning across all contexts in which young people participate, and we invite you to read our resources for a more in-depth look at our work.

 2019 Annual Learning Report

Readers familiar with GripTape may have seen our previous findings on the transformative nature of the Learning Challenge. Youth gain self-confidence and a new fire for learning. They’re using skills like time-management and goal-setting and actively taking responsibility to pursue new learning paths. And these outcomes endure months, and now years, after GripTape.

We’re excited about these outcomes—and they’ve also opened up new questions for us on how to best spark and support learning and development in young people. We’ve shared some of these questions in this report, and we hope that you’ll join us in pursuing the answers and exploring what it takes to fire up young people’s passion to learn. Please share your thoughts at

Spring 2019 Learning Report

Since summer 2016, we’ve pushed aggressively to bring the Learning Challenge opportunity to greater numbers of youth each year. Beginning in June 2018, GripTape set out to support youth in rural communities with the aim of learning how effectively our approaches serve these young people. We are thrilled to share that the results are resoundingly positive. Even with fewer resources available locally, rural youth are just as hungry to explore what they are passionate about and drive their own learning experiences—and they succeed in doing so.

Our research on Challengers’ experiences so far demonstrates a significant and sustained positive impact. Young people consistently report gaining improved confidence, increased awareness of their own interests, strengths, and areas for growth, and an understanding of new ways to achieve successful learning. Importantly, these transformations to Challengers’ mindsets, skills, and behaviors persist in the months and years following their engagement with GripTape. We welcome your thoughts and reactions at

December 2018 Report

Our early research examined the conditions needed to develop young people’s agency and self-direction over learning and the impact that fully youth-led learning has on young people. The results have been extraordinary. Immediately following their GripTape Learning Challenge, youth consistently report that the experience had a significant, positive effect on their feelings of confidence, views of their competence, approaches to learning, and strategies for success. 

This present report extends our earlier findings with additional learnings and nuance about the lasting outcomes of the Challenge and how youth practice agency in the months and years following the journey. We invite you to read more and share your thoughts at

June 2018 Report

Since 2016, GripTape has been radically re-engaging youth to drive their own learning. This report offers an overview of organizational highlights from GripTape’s activities between June 2017 and May 2018 as well as research findings from our first long-term, longitudinal impact study and programmatic learnings. We heard from both youth and adults about the enduring effects of GripTape’s signature program, the Learning Challenge, on the growth and development of these young people, and we hope you share our excitement as you read more of what they had to say.

GripTape Learner Agency Framework

GripTape provides an evidence-backed roadmap to facilitate and assess the emergence of learner agency among youth, with the aim of inspiring all young people to pursue their learning passions and chart their paths to success.


GripTape Learning Cycle 1 Summary of Findings

Growing out of a foundational research review, this first set of findings describes the results of focus group discussions and surveys with nearly 300 young people as they explored their orientation towards learning and youth agency.

GripTape Learning Cycle 2 Summary of Findings

Following the completion of our first Learning Challenge, we report on the experiences and growth of nine youth, ages 15–19, who fully designed and led their own learning journeys.

GripTape Learning Cycle 3 Summary of Findings

In our third summary, GripTape shares how principles of user-centered design, iterative development, and rapid learning serve as model supports for the work we do with youth. We report on results from a new group of Challengers and look ahead at areas we plan to explore in subsequent cycles.

GripTape Snapshot

Read a few of GripTape’s successes with youth-led learning and why Challengers like Abigail say, “What excites me most about GripTape is that I don’t have to follow a leader; instead, I can become one.”

Challenger Testimonials

GripTape youth share the impact of the Learning Challenge and why they want other young people to have this opportunity