About Us


Our Genesis

Agora College began in 2011 as a promise to teens in Juarez, Mexico. They believed that their financial stress would limit their ability to become learned, educated, and certificated. Peterson agreed to recreate "Plato's Log" to support those motivated to become competent autodidacts and gain certification in Integrative Youth Development™.

Agora College exists to support individuals in becoming a certified Youth/Anchor Developmental Ecologist™. Your certification will inform your Youth/Anchor development practice.

Some graduates have used IYD/IAD in their: 

  • mental health counseling practices,
  • personal coaching businesses,
  • health care settings,
  • public and private schools,
  • government educational organizations,
  • social work practice,
  • youth sports,
  • grief counseling,
  • marriage counseling,
  • faith communities.

Mission and Vision

Our Mission

Agora College supports learner-centered edventures that empower people with the knowledge, full-color lens, and self-agency to lead interesting lives and to Anchor others in doing the same.

Agora College's mission is to expand individual understanding of the relationship between youth development and the complex mix of PHactors that support resilience and thriving.

Our Vision

Agora College is the only institution in the world offering certification in the transformative process of understanding children and youth through the lens of complexity as viewed through a Kaleidoscope and spun into a Full-Color Web of Support.

Our Core Values

Applied Learning is informed by and grounded in theory and practice. Agora College offers academic instruction focused on the individual's goals, emphasizing immediate practical application to youth and their Anchors.

1. Nurturing Learner Understanding and Practice

Agora College will support each individual in their intentional efforts to sustain their resilience and maintain their motivation to achieve their stated goals by developing and sustaining their own Web of Support.

2. Supporting Scholarship and Service

Agora College will support the learner to expand their knowledge of IYD through scholarship and practice.

3. A Commitment to Children's Rights and their Development

Agora College ensures the rights of the individual to define their Web Of Support, to tell their own stories, and live into their articulated truths.

4. Commitment to International Relevance and Application

Agora College ensures diversity of knowledge, insights, and experiences through a cultural lens, wisdom traditions, and the personal experiences that support individual Webs of Support. Our certified Youth Developmental Ecologists™ are global citizens who are competent practitioners of Integrative Youth Development™.

Our Founder

About our Founder

Image of Derek Peterson

Derek Peterson

Founder and creator of Agora College

Derek Peterson is an International Child/Youth Advocate who, for the past 40 years, has worked directly with thousands of teens and the adults who Anchor them. As well as teaching young people to see themselves in the context of their personal Web of Support, his work is used to support policy change in national, state, provincial, and local governments.

Peterson completed his graduate work at Northern Arizona University, was an instructor at the innovative Prescott College, and served as the Vice President of Sheldon Jackson College in Sitka, Alaska.

Peterson values static and dynamic quality learning processes and how they benefit from self-direction and inquiry. He believes there should be NO limits to becoming an informed citizen, a learned practitioner, and a self-realized human being. He considers these things essential to living an interesting life and being of use to the larger community. 

Peterson's dream for every certified practitioner is to use the nine PHactors™ to ensure their own resilience and then model and teach others how to construct and sustain their own Web Of Support. 

Welcome to the Agora.

Be prepared to thrive throughout your life.

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