Mission

WonderFueled Adventures curates learning and life experiences for young people living in rural and geographically isolated areas who have limited access to resources, diversity, and mentors in the things that interest them most. Employing self-awareness, mindfulness, surprise, diversity, collaboration, and hands-on implementation, we personalize our journeys to explore the unique inner worlds, hopes, passions, and curiosities of our young Adventurers...

and ignite their senses of Wonder.

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.
— Oliver Holmes
Cara Hines, Founder and Chief Curator of WonderFueled Adventures, with one of our awesome Adventurers.

Cara Hines, Founder and Chief Curator of WonderFueled Adventures, with one of our awesome Adventurers.

WonderFueled Adventures curates learning and life experiences for young people living in rural and geographically isolated areas who have limited access to resources, diversity, and mentors in the things that interest them most. Employing self-awareness, mindfulness, surprise, diversity, collaboration, and hands-on implementation, we personalize our journeys to explore the unique inner worlds, hopes, passions, and curiosities of our young Adventurers and ignite their senses of Wonder.

If you’re a Rural Youth, chances are you climb trees and hay bales, gaze at the Milky Way on a regular basis, and never/rarely lock your doors. You know the mayor, school janitor, mechanic, commissioner, vet, grocery sacker and game warden, and they know you. You know what a game warden is. You have a hunting and fishing license, and you use it. You rode your bike all over town with your dog…before your training wheels came off. You pick okra, berries or apples from the farm up the road. You’ll walk across the stage with the best friend you met in kindergarten. You live on a dirt road 30 miles from pavement. Your nearest neighbors moo, cluck, crow and quack. A night out on the town is dinner at Dairy Queen or the local diner. You drive a tractor. There are more pickup trucks than people in your town, and everyone lives “over yonder.”

Growing up in a small town or in the country has acres of benefits. If you have a Houston-sized imagination and more curiosities than the population of Europe, it can get to be…well…boring. You lay in the grass and wonder if there’s life among all those stars in the Milky Way up there. You make sculptures from the rusted metal pile next to the barn. You ponder, question, read, build, experiment, explore and yearn. You’re bored by school and probably, sometimes or never, fit in. You ask “Why?” a lot…and “How does that work?” and “What’s out there?” You crave the unknown and fantasize about hitchhiking cross-country or backpacking around the world chasing the wonders of it.

If this is you, we want you! WonderFueled selects small groups of exceptionally curious Rural Youth to take a journey, and together we explore your curiosities. You tell us what you wonder about, then we craft experiences that connect your curiosities to the people living them and the places where they thrive. Along the way, we all discover new wonders we didn't know existed. We might explore local culture, cuisine, museums, artists, creative professionals, theaters, communities, universities and higher education institutions, scientists, nature, public transportation, musicians, community gardens, marine biologists, organic farms, fashion designers, technology, or anything else your imagination could lead us to. Each adventure includes a service project in one of the communities we visit. Wonderers are given opportunities to navigate confidently in new places, interact with professionals, make connections with people in their fields of interest, develop leadership skills, learn valuable new information, experience diversity, discover new possibilities for their futures, learn ways to know their inner worlds better, bring it all home to share with their communities, make lifelong friends with fellow Wonderers...and have a lot of fun in the process!


PROCESS

Talk about how we select adventurers, then curate the experiences that match their curiosities, how we partner with people doing what they dream of who believe in our mission, prep them for their adventures, the adventure and fuel tanks, and the return home. Reference the Hero's Journey.

WELCOME, WONDERFUELED ADVENTURERS!

1)  PREPARATION:  As soon as you are on board, WonderFueled will begin the process of curating the adventure to match your curiosities. We will help prepare you for the eye-opening and mind-growing experience of exploration in new places. We will be your logistics team, making sure you're prepared with what you need for your Adventure and helping you get to and from safely.

2)  ADVENTURE:  We will experience the places and people doing what you wonder about in our Fuel Tanks, and they're FULL of wonders! Your understanding of the world will expand by leaps and bounds. Your capacity to empathize with others will grow. You will gain confidence, and possibilities for you and the world you'll create.

3)  RETURN:  The Adventure isn't over! You've integrated new experiences and understandings, and you can bring it all home. We encourage you to tap into the people and resources you met on your Adventure to help share what you've learned with your friends, school, family and community. Start an initiative in your school or town. Stay in touch with your fellow WonderFueled Adventurers and Guides. And always live life with wide-eyed wonder!


FUEL TANKS

[can expand on these once we get the 'tanks' nailed down. let me know what you think]
FOOD / Production / Preparation / Procurement / Sharing / Consumption
ENVIRONMENTS / Nature / Rural / Urban / Suburban / Work / Home
ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN / Spaces / Objects / Structures
ART AND GRAPHICS / 2D & 3D Visual Art / Animation / Illustration / Studios / Galleries
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY / Programming / Games / Software / Hardware / Robotics / Automation / Interface / Industry
STORY AND PERFORMANCE / Writing / Poetry / Spoken Word / Music / Dance
COMMUNITY AND CULTURE / Service / Communication / Cultural Beliefs and Practices / Social Justice
WELL-BEING / Health / Mind-Body / Movement / Brain / Diet / Self-Awareness / Gratitude Practice
MOBILITY / Public Transportation / Cycling / Mapping / GPS
SYSTEMS / Public Works / Government / Interconnectedness

SCHOLARSHIPS

For those selected, we provide guidance with fundraising efforts and financial assistance. Scholarships and sponsorship can be made possible by private donors and grants. Funding will not be a barrier, so that excuse is off the table!

Curiosity is the engine of achievement.
— Sir Ken Robinson

ADVENTURES / Learn more about our upcoming WonderFueled Adventures

APPLY / We want to know what wonders await you! Learn about our application and "What I wonder..." project submission process.