High school dropout Wil Massara to earn $1 million from teen leadership program

A young entrepreneur on the verge of making his first million has claimed new generations are fed up with baby boomer bosses telling them what to do, after he dropped out of school to start his own business.

Wil Massara, 20, from Western Australia, founded his company Youth Leadership Academy Australia when he was just 15 years old.

During his high school years, he became less interested in what the education system was teaching him and eventually failed grade 12 at the age of 16.

Unaware of the need for a formal education, which he said had been thrust upon him by older generations, Mr. Massara decided to skip school and university and pursue his business full-time.

He now speaks regularly at schools across Australia to help students set goals, become better leaders and ensure young people ‘have a seat at the table’ when it comes to learning. deals with their future.

“Young people are less ready to sit down and be told by leaders what to do and be led by them,” he told Daily Mail Australia.

“We are ready to act. We are the least silent generation that has ever existed.

“Those who have no interest in knowing our generation and our values ​​should have no say in what they expect from us.”

Wil Massara, originally from Western Australia, founded his company Youth Leadership Academy Australia when he was just 15 years old. Its program is now used by 770 schools across Australia

Mr. Massara never finished high school, but his business helps students learn leadership skills and is expected to bring in $1 million by the end of next year.

Mr. Massara never finished high school, but his business helps students learn leadership skills and is expected to bring in $1 million by the end of next year.

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The headmaster of his school told Mr Massara that he would never graduate from university after admitting further education was not his priority.

But having completed seven years of management in a professional capacity during his teenage years, the 20-year-old has now nearly completed his master’s degree in business administration.

He started his first company when he was 11, called Planeapidea, an aviation consulting website he dubbed the “Airplane Wikipedia”.

This venture saw him partner with Qantas and Singapore Airlines, and at 15, Mr Massara was a guest on Qantas’ first Boeing 787 flight from Perth as a media representative.

“I was there, in shorts and a t-shirt, surrounded by all these frames when I decided that I wasn’t going to let age determine what I could do,” he said.

It was then that Mr. Massara turned to YLAA, which now has 770 schools across the country.

In addition to organizing one-day leadership programs in schools, Mr. Massara also organizes a series of events that students can attend to learn skills that will help them enter the workforce.

The 20-year-old said he was fed up with how he and his peers were prepared for life after school

The 20-year-old said he was fed up with how he and his peers were prepared for life after school

WIL MASSARA’S TIPS FOR SUCCESS

Determine what you define as success, because it will be different from others

Choose something to do that satisfies you

Create around you a network that supports you and on which you can rely

Learn to take the highs with the lows

A full day session with YLAA for about 150 students at an elite high school can cost up to $5,000.

Mr Massara said lower socio-economic schools received lower fees.

For an event hosted by his company, tickets are $44 each, with the team’s last event attracting 7,500 people.

“The reason we’ve grown so quickly is that we respond with what young people need at the current stages of their lives – the education system sucks at that,” he said.

But just when his business was finally thriving, the Covid pandemic hit.

Coronavirus coupled with recent flooding on Australia’s east coast this year forced Mr Massara to suspend his business and lose $100,000.

He said the pandemic was the “most important time” for young people to come together and for three weeks in March last year, Mr Massara coordinated eight events in six states.

He enlisted the help of The Entourage, one of Australia’s largest business coaching providers, and managed to increase the number of schools he lectured at from 50 to 750.

Mr Massara said his company gives hope to students who may feel overwhelmed by life after high school

Mr Massara said his company gives hope to students who may feel overwhelmed by life after high school

The 20-year-old said he and his team were “overwhelmed” by most of the comments they received from teenagers.

Some students who struggled with mental health issues told him and his team that they now felt equipped to begin the next phase of their lives.

“We recognize that we are changing lives, we have seen the results, but when you hear them sharing their stories with us, how they told their parents they would be fine, it’s overwhelming,” he said. declared.

Mr Massara recently enjoyed some time off to travel in Thailand and Bali, but insisted he ‘doesn’t like wasting money on flashy things’.

“In the last five years, I’ve probably taken less than a full year of minimum wage from the company,” he said, adding that he appreciates the flexibility of his career.

YLAA has visited 35 schools so far this year. Mr. Massara employs two staff members and six contractors who help run the school programs.

He has a series of events planned for next March and his business is expected to hit $1 million in revenue by the end of 2023.

The 20-year-old is now working to turn YLAA into a social enterprise with 100% of profits going to youth suicide prevention programs.

“I think we bring hope and highlight opportunity. We give young people the skills to create the changes they want to see,” Mr. Massara said.

The 20-year-old is now working to turn YLAA into a social enterprise with 100% of profits going to youth suicide prevention programs.

The 20-year-old is now working to turn YLAA into a social enterprise with 100% of profits going to youth suicide prevention programs.

Kevin E. Boling