Amplify Podcast

Episode 8: Courage to Grow with Acton Academy Founder Laura Sandefer

Amplify Podcast

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I'm Emily — a resourceful mom but, if I'm being honest, a terrible prepper. It wasn't until I realized that...

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The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well at Acton Academy. Co-founder Laura Sandefer is sharing about what makes Acton different, and how their overarching philosophy that every person deserves to find their calling and change the world informs their unique educational model.


When their own sons were young, the Sandefers were unsatisfied with the educational options open to them, so they decided to make up their own program and give it a try.


“We literally said, ‘let’s rip up the school playbook and create something brand new and let’s just see if it works.’” -Laura Sandefer


From that one small school with 5 families, they have grown Acton Academy to a network of over 200 schools in 30 states and 20 countries. Through the growing pains that any business experiences (hiring, knowing when to say no, finding the right collaborators), Laura says she still finds the courage to grow when she sees the kids’ eyes and minds lighting up. 


“…the fear never goes away…but when you see that flicker of curiosity and love flowing in the people around you, that’s what still keeps me going every day.” -Laura Sandefer


Topics discussed with Acton Academy co-founder Laura Sandefer in this episode:

  • Learner-driven educational communities
  • Mixing old and new methodologies
  • Letting kids solve their own problems
  • Building entrepreneurial spirit into education
  • Whole person education
  • The Hero’s Journey as a model for growth
  • The value of failure
  • Sacrifice vs. suffering
  • Laura’s book “Courage to Grow


Connect with Laura Sandefer of Acton Academy:



Laura Anderson Sandefer lives in Austin, Texas, with her children, husband, and three dogs. She calls herself the Chief Encourager of the Acton Academy affiliation of independent schools. She’d love to hear from you if you are interested in starting your own Acton Children’s Business Fair or an Acton Academy in your community. Feel free to email her at

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