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About Us



It’s a simple word we all recognize. It means persistence, resilience, determination. When you break it down even further, it includes passion, tenacity, motivation, courage, and more. But it is often overlooked as a determining contributor to success in long-term career and life goals.

We know just how vital it is to instill grit in our children, so we created programs to encourage and build grit by focusing on three key building blocks:

  • Growth Mindset: Talent is just the ground floor – we take children’s innate skills and create a thirst for improvement. We help them recognize the power of their own potential.  We teach them self-efficacy, to believe in themselves.
  • Goal Directedness:  More than visualization, children need practice setting realistic and challenging goals, then breaking those goals down into bite-sized pieces. They need to develop the fortitude to keep trying, even when they fail. We know how to build a “stick-to-it” mentality. And we have fun doing it!
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness/EQ:  Understanding their own strengths and weaknesses increases children’s self-confidence. It also impacts how they work with others. More than sharing, more than empathy, we help develop interpersonal skills needed for collaboration.

Who we are

We are psychologists, board certified behavior analysts, educators, and researchers. Plus, we’re parents, too. So we get it! We are passionate about helping children get gritty with programs grounded in psychoeducational theory.


What we do

We develop after school and summer programs to build grit in children. Our curriculum is research-based and uses interactive lessons. Hands-on learning! Engaging challenges! Our Certified Grit Instructors are focused on delivering life skills (growth mindset, goal directedness, and interpersonal effectiveness) in a way most children have never experienced before. Check out our programs to see which one is best for you.


Why we do it

People who have grit are successful in life. Developing grit and other life skills have taken a back seat to a societal focus on academics, sports, and other extracurricular activities. Success is not just about the grades. It’s not about participation trophies. Success is bigger than that. And it requires the ‘other’ skills: showing up, giving 100%, not being afraid to fail, and learning from mistakes. That’s Grit. That’s what we teach.



It’s what we build into every program.
It’s what we teach, encourage and foster.
Let’s all commit to helping our children
Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Gritty.


Our Leadership team



Executive Director
PsyD in Child, School, and Family Psychology; Certified School Psychologist; Certified Elementary Teacher (K-6)

What do I like most about The Grit Project? 
When I was a professor of educational psychology, I taught future teachers the importance of social emotional development, how to build self-efficacy, how to motivate students, and so on. I would explain that emotional intelligence (EQ) is a better predictor of success than IQ. Inevitably, someone would ask, "If what you are saying is true, than why aren't we seeing these strategies being used in schools?" Rather than point my finger at any one societal culprit, I decided to be part of the solution. I created The Grit Project - an organization dedicated to partnering with schools and families to teach those intangible qualities like perseverance, interpersonal skills, goal setting, and more. The traits that make students gritty. The traits that make kids successful in life.

What makes me gritty?
I have a deep-rooted belief that I can accomplish anything if I am willing to devote the time it will take. It’s not arrogance. I simply believe that you can structure your time and efforts in a way to do anything, be anything, experience anything.  


Academic Consultant
MS, EdS in School Psychology; Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP); Certified Elementary Teacher (K-6)

What do I like most about The Grit Project? 
Working in public schools, I know the pace and expectations placed on everybody are unrealistic. We cast a wide net to try to do all things for all students.  Yet academics are still the top priority. Unfortunately, we can't truly develop the 'whole child' -- their kindness, their compassion, their essential life-skills. The Grit Project is my way to even out the scales a bit. I get to help write curriculum and develop programs that I believe are truly meaningful.

What makes me gritty?
My stubbornness and my drive. I’ve seen my hard work pay off time and time again. Grit has gotten me where I am today.



Director of ABA and Support Services
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA); MS, CAS in School Psychology; former US Marine Sergeant

What do I like most about The Grit Project?
I like that our programs are influenced by Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). You see, ABA is the process of using learning theory to teach behavior.  As a behavior analyst, I believe any behavior can be taught. Any behavior can be learned. I make sure that our instructors have the skills to teach a highly abstract concept such as grit in a concrete and meaningful way - and get results.

What makes me gritty?
I embrace mistakes. I know that when things get hard, that’s usually an opportunity.

Andy Hendel

Director of Fitness
BS in Animal Science; 4 year professional NFL football player; Owner and Head Coach CrossFit Charlotte; SEALfit Kokoro Instructor

What do I like most about The Grit Project? 
The Grit Project gives me the opportunity to work with young people, teaching them to achieve their goals. My own life has been a series of hurdles of overcoming obstacles, both physical and emotional. To experience the empowerment of overcoming these challenges, I feel everyone should have the skills.

What makes me gritty?
The words I live by, "Quitting is not an option," says it all. I live my life not letting mental and physical challenges overwhelm me. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and never give up is what makes me gritty.