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nXu is the brainchild of top educational leaders from some of the country’s most celebrated public and private high schools. With collective experience starting, leading, and growing 250+ high-quality K-12 schools and education initiatives nationwide, the nXu team noticed a critical gap in American high school education: even the most academically prepared students enter college at a disadvantage when they lack a clear sense of personal purpose. 

The nXu team is addressing this problem by building an innovative youth purpose incubator that brings together racially and socioeconomically diverse cohorts of high schoolers from different school types to explore, articulate, and pursue their purpose in life.


The research is clear and unequivocal: purpose is a fundamental human motive that is at the root of major markers of success throughout one’s life. Youth with a strong sense of purpose experience greater life satisfaction and physical, mental, and emotional well-being, perform better in school, and have higher rates of college retention. Adults with a strong sense of purpose also experience greater life satisfaction, financial and professional success, resilience, and longevity.  

nXu starts in high school because adolescence marks a critical phase of purpose development. More than 75% of young adults report that they are searching for purpose and meaning in their lives, yet less than a quarter of high-school students have a sense of purpose. Currently, high schools—even some of the best ones—struggle to provide a customized, purpose-centered education because they are challenged to fulfill other priorities within limited time. Today’s youth need an engaging, inspiring, and inclusive learning environment for purpose development freed from the constraints of traditional schooling.


"nXu is a program that leads you in the direction to achieve and find your purpose, and once you have done that, to go out into the world and fulfill your purpose. nXu is a much deeper analysis of the world around us, and this truly and effectively enhances how we see and apply our skills to our lives and the lives around us."

— 2017 nXu Fellow