Becoming Human: A Most Excellent Finishing School©

(curriculum development and implementation for children age 0-100)

  • A new supplemental or after-school program for children and young adults 

  • Non-academic, relationship-based educational programs

  • Focusing on 5 areas of development:

    • Martial Arts & Roughhousing

    • Nature Connection & Storytelling

    • Social & Interpersonal Skills

  • Meeting for 2 hour sessions during the week in pods

  • Register for 8-week blocks, rain or shine!
  • Teaching kids to be resilient and well-prepared to be outdoors in our bio-region
  • Gathering with multiple pods for outdoor adventures every Saturday

Martial Arts: Our Martial arts program promotes self-confidence, self-discipline, and perseverance, as well as the development of physical coordination, dexterity, and strength. Through play, drills, and partner/team practices, students learn how to listen and engage with one another with mutual care/responsibility/attention as they develop their martial arts and cognitive/emotional self-awareness skills.

Storytelling: Our Storytelling program teaches students to become storytellers by listening as well as by learning to share their own stories. By utilizing various storytelling techniques we teach them communication, self inquiry, negotiation, conflict-resolution, and collective problem-solving skills. In this process, we draw from content that emerges from their experiences during other parts of our program, their lives, and our collection of stories and examples. Stories teach kids how to understand their own inner worlds and expand their vocabulary for self-expression.

Nature Connections: In the early stages of our Nature Connections program, we focus on developing kinship with nature, the sense of responsibility and reciprocity that goes along with kinship, as well as getting comfortable and feeling at home in the natural world. We encourage our students to observe and pay attention with all of their senses to the inner and outer worlds in order to stimulate their sense of wonder, understanding,  and reverence.

Roughhousing: Roughhousing is semi-structured physical play where the idea is not to win. (Imagine puppies or kittens). The idea is to keep the game going. This kind of play promotes muscular bonding and connection, resilience, non-verbal communication, caring for others, self-control, and overall healthy psychological development.

Social and Emotional Intelligence: The social and emotional component of our program is woven into the whole program, and gets highlighted during circle time. In addition to the skills offered through storytelling, focused circle time provides the children with fundamentals of good communication skills. Our aim is to cultivate their self-awareness and compassion for others through the practice of reflection, sharing, inquiry, and dialogue. We use interactive games and activities to strengthen their interpersonal skills and sense of connection to each other.

The Areas of our Program:

Your Instructors:

The Team:

James Huntley and Roberto Rodriguez

(more details coming soon! Nov 2020)

James Huntley, Roberto Rodriguez, Trish DeJohn, and Marta Gradilone have worked together since Summer 2020 to bring this vision to you! We are excited to have started this fall and love working together to create an inspiring program for young people in Eugene!

Our Vision:

We envision a world where all people feel rooted in a sense of connection, belonging, and mutual responsibility and empowered to cooperatively steward the health and well-being of people, place, and planet.

Our Mission:

To support the development of healthy adults by implementing educational experiences for children of  all ages (0-100). 

We imagine healthy human development unfolds in three broad, overlapping stages:

Earth/World seeker (ages 8-12)

On this track our goals are to increase physical and emotional self-awareness, social development, and connection to the living world.

World Embracer (ages 13-15)

Here our goal is to translate the sense of Connection and Belonging into effective Responsibility and caring for one’s family, community, and place.

World Builder/Shaper/Guardian/Steward (ages 16-18)

Our goal here is to identify, develop, and support the participant’s active/vocational contributions to the health of their communities, locales, and world.

Our Vision / Why A Most Excellent Finishing School?

Contact Us!

We are currently focusing our attention on curriculum development for our 8 to 12 year old population. The core elements that we introduce here will continue to be applied when working with the 13 to 15 and the 16 to 18 year olds. Additional elements will be added as the children/ students graduate into the future phases.

Active Programs

How to Sign-Up / Join a Group

We are running group of 12 year old boys that is closed to new members. And we have a group-in-forming that is for 10-11 year olds that will be a coed. If you are interested in joining, please get in touch with us! We can reached via email at

If you know of anyone who might be interested in our programs, please help us spread the word! We hope to get several new groups going! Thank you and have a lovely day!

Pricing Structure

Our program is offered in 8-week blocks, which meet once a week for 2 hours. Tuition is per 8-week block, and is non-refundable and non-transferrable.

Rates are $240 per student, per block (blocks are 8-weeks).

We meet rain or shine, and expect students to come prepared (with rain gear, water bottle, and face masks). We hope you join us! If you have any questions, please reach out to us at