Don’t miss: Crossing Thin Ice

As the founder and president of the Youth Transition Network, Jeff Schadt has found a new calling in life. After years spent in the corporate world, Schadt was forced to reexamine his own life after his once profitable business slowly unraveled. Rather than wallow in despair, Schadt charted a different course, returning to school and earning a Master’s degree in biblical leadership.

But what he found while spending time on college campuses alarmed him and the professors around him – students ill-prepared for not just college but life on their own as a whole. “Research shows that 26 percent of freshman don’t make it through their first year of college. That’s an incredible statistic,” says Schadt.

Why? Through research, Schadt discovered three main reasons: students can’t adapt to the social changes; they can’t adjust to the academic protocol; and they can’t manage the commitment financially.

Schadt set out to do something about it and created the Youth Transition Network in the process. He found that an overwhelming 69 percent of young people want more parental involvement. But that doesn’t mean “helicopter” parents who micromanage every minute of a teen’s day. Rather, it means developing a voice that can help prepare and connect our young people to one another today. “There are simple and practical things to do to help youth develop mental maturity – that’s the goal.”

Schadt will be in Sonoma the weekend of November 4 and 5 leading the Network’s flagship conference, “Crossing Thin Ice, the Secrets of Influential Parenting.” The seminar is for parents of young people between 8- and 18-years-old. It details Schadt’s extensive research into what it takes to parent emotionally and spiritually healthy kids so parents can help them launch successfully and succeed for life on their own after high school. The conference gives parents the tools to open up communication and gain influence with their youth and teens.

Crossing Thin Ice will be held at Hanna Boys Center, 17000 Arnold Drive, Sonoma on Friday, Nov. 4 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A box lunch is available for purchase on Saturday for $5. Audio tapes can be made available for those individuals who are only able to attend one of the sessions.

Cost is $25 per person. To register, visit For additional information, contact St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 996.6024.

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