Own the Future offers educational programs for curious, open-minded young people who haven’t decided want to be when they grow up. We teach students how to try on different futures for themselves—starting with various careers in the technology industry—and begin to discover a life path they will love. Our realistic projects and professional advice from mentors are designed to teach students how to be proactive, creative, and decisive to help them figure out their own future.

We encourage students to try out various careers through realistic projects and challenges, giving them brief but true-to-life experience working in each of a number of professional roles. By experiencing the work from a variety of careers, learning to ask smart questions to professionals in those roles, and immersing themselves in different roles through the power of imagination, students can try out multiple career experiences first-hand, to help them decide which life paths best fit their interests.

In other words, we teach students how to figure out what they want to be in the future--a skill that we hope will last them a lifetime.

Our History

Lighthouse was founded in 2017 in Menlo Park, California. Inspired by the many, many multi-talented and terribly confused high school students out there who feel anxious about the future, we wanted to educate them on how to make big life decisions.

We understand that high school students today feel enormous stress about the future. This isn't really surprising, because no one teaches most students how to plan for the future. Imagine being asked to solve a math problem without being taught how to add or subtract.

Schools teach students frameworks for solving math problems, writing essays, speed reading, and coding. Our goal was different: we wanted to give students a framework for figuring out their own future.

Meet Our Alumni

In 2017, we ran our first Summer Program. We invite you to read about The 2017 Summer Program and take 90 seconds to hear from some of our alumni:


Additionally, we offer workshops at schools and community events from Kansas to California. Here's what Chris Rubin from Menlo-Atherton High School had to say about our "10 Minute Tech Career" workshop:

"Samantha's 45 minute presentation on Prototyping a Career in Technology demonstrated the many opportunities available to our students and truly motivated them to take ownership of their personal career exploration."

samantha quist

Samantha Quist is the founder and executive director of Own the Future educational programs. She has been a professional marketing executive, software developer, startup founder, startup advisor, resume editor, and nonprofit program director. After graduating from Stanford University, Samantha joined Google in 2004 as a Product Marketing Manager. After founding a resume editing company, she led marketing at big data startup Gnip prior to its acquisition by Twitter. Samantha was Founder and CEO of Copywriter Central from its founding to acquisition, then became the Executive Director of Technovation, a global startup competition for high school students. She is currently co-founder and Director of Founder Friendly Labs Startup Accelerator. She resides in Menlo Park, California with her husband and children. Samantha has been working with high school students for years as a technology mentor, and is a guest speaker at professional technology conferences locally, nationally, and internationally. She occasionally blogs at www.samanthaquist.com.

Samantha Quist develops the curriculum for all Lighthouse courses.
Get to know her in this 12-minute talk she gave to high school girls at Google: