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How do you use your gap year to prepare for your future?

Connect with Canada’s leading Gap Year Expert, Michelle Dittmer, for one-on-one coaching throughout your experiential journey.

Does the idea of starting to plan (or finally planning!) your gap year seems just too overwhelming to take on alone? You want to make the most of your year, reflect on your wants and needs, and put in the work (while holding yourself accountable!), but the first initial steps are full of uncertainty (and there is nothing worse than getting lost in this process, losing momentum and watching the year slide by). 

 

You know that having some sort of guidance along the gap year path, especially as you begin to carve out your future, would be so valuable to your next steps, but mom and dad don’t always cut it.

 

You need a safe space to connect with someone who understands what you’re experiencing, knows how to leverage a gap year for personal and professional growth, and how to prepare for the “what’s next” part.

 

That’s where we come in, because let’s face it, mom and dad probably didn’t take a gap year (nor did your teachers or guidance counsellor), and although they have tons of wisdom to share, you need the expert insight. 


Having that third-party perspective, an adult with over 10+ years of experience of doing exactly that (gap year coaching, student support and career planning) is what will help you get clear on who you are, what you want and how to turn plans into action.

Meet your Gap Year Expert and Coach, Michelle Dittmer

Recognizing that students were not being provided with enough opportunity to get hands-on experience to develop life skills, Michelle left the classroom to explore other ways of helping young people find direction and fulfilment. She worked to train other teachers, she instructed outdoor education, she traveled for pleasure and for work and researched what today’s youth really want and need.  

 

All of her life experience drove her to the same conclusion – we need to slow down and give young people the space and time to figure out who they are and to engage in meaningful experiences. 

 

Michelle founded the Canadian Gap Year Association as an antidote to business, mental health challenges and young adults feeling confused and unfulfilled.  She has committed her professional life to giving families permission to slow down so their kids can be the best version of themselves and make a healthy transition into adulthood.

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Here’s how our TWO coaching programs can support you:

Option 1: Monthly Coaching

For Gappers in need of:

  • Steps for identifying their gap year goals, plans and activities

  • Support in staying accountable

  • Guidance in career planning and matching gap year activities to their interests

  • Awareness of where to access aligned job, internship and funding opportunities (and how to build successful applications!)

  • Counseling and support from an adult who “get it”

What's included:

  • 12 x 1-hour virtual coaching sessions

  • 1 x 1-hour family onboarding session

  • Ongoing one-on-one email support

  • Access to all Gapper Connect channels, 4-Step Gap Year Planner and Gameplan program to earn the Student of Leadership & Humanity Award

  • YouScience Career aptitude assessment & report highlighting aptitudes and interests, suggesting potential careers and functional language to use on your resume and in job interviews

Coaching sessions themes include:

  • Gap Year Goal Setting, Planning & Preparation

  • Gap Year Accountability and Troubleshooting

  • Personal Development: Values & Strengths Articulation

  • Life Pathway and Career Exploration

  • Translating Gap Year Experiences to marketable skills (ie. resume support, scholarship application support)

  • Post-gap year transition topics

  • Additional topics chosen by the gapper as areas of support needed

$2,995 + HST

 

Option 2: Back-On-Track Coaching

Here’s the thing about this program: in over 10+ years of working with Gappers, we are well aware of the “gap year slump”. This is a mid-year, low point that all Gappers reach when they start to feel left behind, lost in connecting their goals to real action, and lack of community.

 

As a result, we built our custom, 5-week Back-on-Track coaching program to support Gappers in both preparing and overcoming this slump. 

This program will run three times in the winter of 2023 during January, February and March when Gappers are in the most need of this type of support.

For Gappers in need of:

  • An extra push of motivation and accountability mid-way through their gap year

  • Support in connecting their gap year goals to activities

  • Building their gap year community and professional network

  • Guidance in career planning and matching gap year activities to their interested

  • Counseling and support from an adult who “get its” and that isn’t a parent

What's included:

  • 30 minute pre-program one-on-one coaching call

  • 3 x 1-hour group coaching sessions - topics include identifying blocks, setting goals, celebrating milestones, and building a solid plan of action

  • 1 x 30-minute one-on-one Gap Year Plan review

  • 1 x 1-hour parent support workshop

  • Access to all Gapper Connect channels, 4-Step Gap Year Planner and Gameplan program to earn the Student of Leadership & Humanity Award

  • YouScience Career aptitude assessment & report highlighting aptitudes and interests, suggesting potential careers and functional language to use on your resume and in job interviews

Our five weeks together include:

  • Week One: Pre-Program One-on-Ones and access your 4-Step Gap Year Planner

  • Week Two: Group Call 

  • Week Three: Group Call 

  • Week Four: Group Call 

  • Week Five: Plan Reviews and Feedback

$500 + HST

Limited to 10 Gappers per program

All coaching packages provide access to:

Best Friends

Gapper Connect Discord

Our Discord server connects you to over 200 students, Gappers and alum across Canada (and beyond!) to share successes, challenges, passions and more. You’ll also have access to our exclusive opportunity channel sharing weekly jobs, internships and funding opportunities!

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The 4-Step

Gap Year Planner

Access our video guided, self-paced course on how to plan your gap year with a strong focus on goal setting, research, activity planning and budgeting (with all the templates, trusted programs and partners, and additional tools included!).

Click here to learn more

The Gap Year Gameplan

Take the lead on building your gap year portfolio, resume and LinkedIn profile with the help of our self-led Gameplan program. Over the course of your gap year, learn foundational “adulting” skills, implement real (and even creative!) projects under the 7 core themes of the program, and earn digital badges (aka micro-credentials!) that shows employers how purposeful your gap year really was!

Click here to learn more

Friends at Art Store

The opportunity to earn the Student of Leadership & Humanity Award

Once you’ve earned all 7 digital badges, you can earn the international Student of Leadership and Humanity Award, proving to the world your potential, your courage, and your ability to DO.

Click here to learn more

College Student

Now, if mom or dad are helping you invest in getting the best support for maximizing your gap year experience, go grab ‘em for this section.

Interested in jumping on a free 30-minute consultation call to chat about the program before getting started? Click here!

Hey, mom and dad!

 

We know you see the value in career planning, education and hands-on experience. That’s why you’re rooting for your kid to have a successful gap year, but you also want to make sure they have access to all the tools, resources, and support needed to make that happen.

 

Our gap year coaching is ideal for gappers who have ideas and goals for their year but either

  1. Need one-on-one support to put plans into place

  2. Struggle with gaining and sustaining momentum, OR 

  3. Want to get ahead in connecting their interests with future aspirations and careers.

 

Our in-house Gap Year Expert and Coach Michelle is a professional with 10+ years experience guiding young people on their gap year journey and in setting themselves up for success post-gap year. She provides practical advice, connects families to reputable resources, and helps Gappers navigate the often complicated transition into adulthood.  She also happens to be a fan favorite across our community of over 3300 students and families.

 

So, if you want to help your kid gain independence, maturity, clarity about their future, and build a community of like-minded peers and inspirational leaders, coaches and mentors, you are in the right place.

Got questions?
We got answers!

Can I start monthly coaching at any time?

Yes! We will adjust the schedule to make sure you are making the most of your coaching time and addressing any of the timely issues that come up regardless of when on your gap year you start coaching.

Do sessions need to be monthly?

Gap year coaching is most successful when supported on a monthly basis throughout their gap year, however, if more than one session is needed in a month, please contact Michelle to discuss before booking - michelle@cangap.ca

When do the coaching sessions take place? 

You get to choose! We’ll set a schedule with Michelle at the beginning of the contract, but each session can be moved depending on how your gap year activities unfold. Our sessions are intentionally virtual to accommodate your gap year schedule and plans.

Is there anything available to support parents?

Yes! To learn more about our coaching and support programs for parents of gap year students, email Michelle at michelle@cangap.ca.

What if my kid is resistant to the idea of coaching but could really benefit from it?

Book a free consultation call with Michelle by clicking here. This is a great opportunity to introduce your kid to Michelle and have her explain the coaching program in terms that make sense to each person involved. In the end, if they aren't interested, it won't work and we can connect them to other resources that can support their gap year needs.

What if I can't afford this package but it is exactly what I need?

Contact Michelle directly at michelle@cangap.ca. Together, we can work towards a scholarship and/or energy-exchange to offset the fees.

Will coaching help my teen get a job/internship?

Coaching does not include the Coach doing any booking of experiences, job searching, or internship coordination. These are the responsibility of the Client and Customer. Referrals may be provided by the coach if additional support is required in these areas.