Mike Wagner, Founder, Lead Instructor
After surviving his first stint as a high school social studies teacher in New York City, Mike Wagner often contemplated life beyond the lesson plans, bells and the continuous whir of 21st century high school life. After five straight years of teaching right out of college, feelings of pointlessness, hopelessness, and pessimism about the future of education set in.
Mike needed some air, some distance and to gain a fresh perspective. He decided to take a daring gap year at the age of 26 and consequently packed his life into two bags and a crate (for his German Shepherd) and moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for a little culture shock and volunteer work. After about a year of traveling, he came back home reinvigorated and felt ready to tackle the challenges of teaching in the modern era. However, after another two years of teaching, he realized that it was the deep connection with his students that he missed, but not the rigidity of school schedules and state curricula.
Dissatisfied once again, he left the teaching world with tearful hugs and bittersweet goodbyes, anxious about an uncertain future. Driven to find happiness and battling self-doubt, he read voraciously and constantly pondered his next job. All the while, he continued to advise former students on deep, life issues and help show them how to think in a more positive and productive way.
That is when it all clicked. Mike realized his talent for mentoring students who were unsure of their life trajectory or confused by society’s mixed messages could be combined with areas of need in the education world like test prep and social/emotional learning. He got to work developing his own curriculum to address the gaps he saw in the education world.
Mike empathizes with the generation and understands their strengths and weaknesses and how they relate to the world. He now helps his middle-school students excel in regional competitions employing his custom curriculum and his high school students to prepare for college admissions via small-group test prep and individual college consulting.
The Epic Mentoring Mission Statement
We disagree with the idea that one education fits all, and seek to inspire students to become life-long learners. Standardization, crowded classrooms and our current, outdated industrialized form of education lack the openness and excitement that learning should produce. There is no ONE WAY and the best way to prepare for the future is through learning how to learn. At Epic Mentoring, we offer guidance to aid in navigating the confusing world of academics and high school life on top of high-quality test prep.
Our mission is to offer holistic lessons on learning alongside fun, fast-paced meaningful work, whether it be Project-based or in preparation for the SAT/ACT.