Navigating life as an adult is difficult. You don’t have to look very far online to find thousands of social media posts along the lines of: “I’m 35 and I still don’t know how to be a grown-up.”

Not knowing is fine. Taking time to figure it out is okay. But when young people reach adulthood without the basic empowerment and critical thinking skills necessary to do that figuring out, we have a problem.

In school, students aren’t necessarily taught how to make their own mark and step into the greatest version of themselves — this is where Cory Chadwick comes in. The Personal Greatness Project, a Toronto-based organization founded by Chadwick, runs group sessions with teens and twenty-somethings to help them learn the most important skills for making the best of their lives. “We want to empower teenagers and young adults to live a life they can really be proud of,” says Chadwick.

He himself went through a difficult youth and knows what it’s like to feel helpless and directionless. But he learned that, “with the right tools, those challenges can not only be overcome, they can be turned into sources of strength moving forward,” says Chadwick. “It’s about teaching them how to figure it out on their own. It’s like there’s a switch in them that I can help them flip, and once it flips, it never flips back.”

While Chadwick passionately mentors his students, he doesn’t strive to be their role model. In fact, he guides them to build their own role models and pave their own way. “Instead of following someone else’s lead, we focus on creating the future you — the greatest version of you,” he says. “This isn’t about fitting into someone else’s box, it’s about creating your own — and future you is the best possible role model that you could ever have.”

To arrange The Personal Greatness Project training for your school, team, or organization, or to invite Chadwick to speak at your school or next event, visit