As a young man, GoBeyond Co-Founder, Jim Stoll, developed a passion for youth education when he turned the usually quiet summer season at his family’s marina into a thriving summer sailing school for teenagers.
In 1970, Jim expanded the concept, taking his school to the water full-time. Jim sailed the Atlantic waters aboard 156′ Te Vega and 175′ Te Quest, enrolling 86 teenagers every year in a high school program of study and travel. Twelve years later, with children of his own, Jim moved back ashore to develop his motivational programs for young adults. In the mid-eighties he once again headed to the water and the summer adventure program ActionQuest was born.
In 1995, Jim was joined by Mike Meighan. A recent oceanography and marine biology graduate, Mike dreamed of creating a truly interactive educational experience. Using the principles of ActionQuest, Mike developed Sea|mester – a live-aboard college accredited semester at sea program.
Sea|mester brings academics from the textbook into real-life application. Sea|mester acquired the 88-foot school ship, S/Y Ocean Star, in 1998. After an extensive re-fit, she headed for the Caribbean and continues to ply the waters of the Lesser Antilles today.
During Sea|mester’s infancy, Jim helped his teenage son, Jason, achieve a life goal – sailing around the world. Between 1997 and 1999, Jim joined his son for parts of the voyage. Their travels led to the creation of new programs in the Galapagos, Tahiti, Fiji and Australia. Looking to give something back to the communities that had supported ActionQuest and Sea|mester for so long, in 2002, Jim and Mike teamed up with local, national and international organizations so students could embark on meaningful service projects around the world. GoBeyond had been born!
The steady growth of Sea|mester allowed us to achieve a major goal in 2006 with the completion of a new 112-foot school ship, S/Y Argo. Since her launch she has circumnavigated the globe twice, offering those students the chance to cross oceans while furthering their educational and personal goals. Today, under the banner of Global Expeditions Group, our programs ActionQuest, Sea|mester and GoBeyond span the world and have changed the lives of thousands of teenagers.