Own The Future offers educational programs for curious, open-minded young people who aren’t sure 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. We challenge students 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 jobs through the power of imagination, students can try out multiple career experiences first-hand. Then they score their own experiences to help them decide which life paths best fit their interests.

In other words, we aim to 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

Own The Future educational programs began under the name “Lighthouse” in 2017 in Menlo Park, California. Inspired by the many multi-talented but uncertain high school students out there who feel anxious and unclear about their own future, we wanted to educate them on how to make big life decisions.

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.

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 for Own The Future educational programs. She is also co-founder and Director of Founder Friendly Labs Startup Accelerator. Samantha has experienced a variety of careers: professional marketing executive, software developer, startup founder, startup advisor, resume editor, and nonprofit program director.

After graduating from Stanford University, Samantha joined Google in as an early Product Marketing Manager. She left to learn about entrepreneurship, first founding a resume editing company and then leading marketing at small tech startup, Gnip, prior to its major acquisition by Twitter. Samantha then founded Copywriter Central, a tech marketplace for writing talent, before selling it to another company. Next, she joined Technovation, a global technology entrepreneurship startup competition for high school students, as Executive Director of the program. Today, she works with startups at Founder Friendly Labs and high school students at Own the Future.

Samantha has been a guest speaker at professional technology conferences locally, nationally, and internationally. She resides in Menlo Park, California with her husband and children, and she occasionally blogs at www.samanthaquist.com.

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