Place Corps is a year long, experiential learning program designed for 18-25 year olds.

Participants develop the skills and wisdom needed to live and work in ways that make their lives, their communities, and the Earth truly thrive.

Participants become certified in permaculture design, learn to grow their own food, build green, create regenerative place-based projects, plus more.

Situated on a 900-acre Biodynamic ® farm in the Hudson Valley, participants explore the urban and rural region as a living classroom. Over the course of the year, they self design college accredited study plans, engaging with accomplished practitioners, and organizations working at the forefront of social, ecological, and economic regeneration. They develop a professional work portfolio aligned with their unique interests and future goals.

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We believe we are at a time in which radical changes need to be made, not only to survive but thrive. We believe our future is seeded in individuals working collectively to know, love, and serve what our places need.

So, why take a Gap Year? Click here to learn more!

The skills, aptitudes, and attitudes necessary to industrialize the earth are not necessarily the same as those that will be needed to heal the Earth or to build durable economies and good communities.

Upon completion, Place Corps participants receive access to the professional GWI Fellows Network and to the ELIP internationally-recognized Alumni Network.


Check out your Collaborative Network for life!

Good Work Institute (GWI): The relationships forged within GWI are sustained through ongoing Good Work Network events and collaborations with a growing group of innovators and community leaders committed to a thriving future for the Hudson Valley and the Earth.

Ecological Literacy Immersion Program (ELIP): Each year, ELIP alumni/ae are invited back to Omega during the final week of the program to gather with colleagues across all years of the program. Since the inception of the program, ELIP alumni been thought partners that collaborate cross-continentally.

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.
— John Dewey

Our approach is to learn by doing. We introduce ideas as actions to be tested and iterated by participants. We provide training in practical skills for radical living, so that participants establish a solid foundation for their ingenuity and creativity to flourish. We foster the development of collaboration through co-governance, co-living, and collaborative projects. We recognize individuals’ unique learning interests and support them with professional mentors working in the field. Our program applies a core framework of KNOW, LOVE, and SERVE for the self, community, and outward to the Earth.

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Hawthorne Valley Farm


Place Corps main learning and living campus is located at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, NY.  


Hawthorne Valley Farm (est. 1972) is a diversified, 900-acre Demeter certified 650A Biodynamic® farm (Demeter remains the oldest ecological certification organization in the world) in upstate New York. The farm is also USDA certified organic and Animal Welfare Approved. 

Throughout the year, Place Corps actively engages with the urban and rural landscapes of the Hudson Valley as a living institute.  Participants can expect to hike the mountains, wade and row the rivers, forage the forests, and walk the city streets.  

Place Corps is approximately two hours north of New York City, three hours west of Boston, and thirty minutes south of Albany, NY.


JULY 2019-MAY 2020 Pilot Year!

Calendar of Dates



Program Cost: $26,000 Room + Board: $11,000

*College accreditation additional fee

Place Corps works to ensure all accepted applicants can attend without financial barrier through in-house need-based scholarship, work-study, and other measures.

Place Corps will only be admitting up-to twelve participants into the pilot year. We seek the best students regardless of their ability to pay, we are committed to meeting demonstrated financial need, admissions are need-blind.


Our application is a simple process


Submit your answers to the questions in our form below. Include your personal essays or videos, as well as unofficial transcripts, and contact information of two personal references.

*Applications received before Jan 7th NO FEE

*If you have any questions do not hesitate to reach out: hello@placecorps.org


Our team reviews applications and follows up with select applicants for interviews.

*Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and close when all spots have been confirmed with signed contracts and deposits.


Upon acceptance into the program, applicants are provided financial aid applications.


Applicants are provided need-based scholarship awards and a tuition payment schedule.


Applicants send in their first payment and signed contract to secure their place.



Deadline for Early No-Fee Application: Jan 7th

Place Corps Begins: June 28th 2019


Name *
This program is for people between the ages of 18-25, and assistantships for applicants over 25
500 words or less—or submit a video. If submitting video please share the link to your video.
500 words or less—or submit a video. If submitting video please share the link to your video.
Please highlight qualifications and personal learning interests for this role.
Send us your transcripts and/or portfolio* upload
To complete your application send your unofficial transcripts or portfolio (non-traditional students) For people applying for assistantships, also include a resume or CV. Please add your name to your file before uploading to ensure your submission is bundled correctly. EX. Jane-Smith-Application.pdf If having trouble with uploading send to hello@placecorps.com
2019 Application Fee
Add To Cart

*Please note that Place Corps is an inclusive community where self-directed learners can thrive. Homeschool students and non-traditional educational backgrounds are welcome.  If you fit in this category, you may submit a portfolio of educational and life experiences instead of a transcript. A portfolio should contain detailed information that illustrates coursework accomplished and evaluation (narrative and/or grades). Also, if you feel that a work portfolio in addition to your transcript is helpful for us to better know you, you’re welcome to share one with us (hello@placecorps.org).  Please feel free to be in touch, introduce yourself, and ask any questions that might be on your mind. At Place Corps we look for evidence of personal character, work ethic, academic curiosity, creativity, and passion for place when reviewing applications.

Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the very nerve of education.
— Rudolf Steiner

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Maya Greene

Maya Greene is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Columbia-Greene Community College. Certified in both the Myers Briggs and Enneagram personality assessments, she is the author of the foundational communication textbook Through the Screen: Analog Communication in a Digital Age. She specializes in the intersections of human experience, personal perception, and interpersonal communication. When not teaching, find Maya raising heritage chickens and American Guinea Hogs on her farm or in the woods foraging edible and medicinal fungus.

Dawn Breeze

As Co-Founder of Place Corps and Program Director, Dawn applies her skills as an interdisciplinary educator and program designer rooted in her praxis. Dawn holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts and Education Reform from Goddard College, and works to liberate creativity in community. She does this through her curriculum Creativity + Courage™ as well as Instar Lodge, the community arts project space she created. Place Corps is her most recent collaborative project helping individuals connect with their creative purpose for positive change.

Paul Rix

Paul loves to build, move, and make music. Paul builds tiny houses, musical instruments, greenhouses, dances, and more. Paul holds a Masters of Education and has worked as an educator for 15 years teaching everything from high school English in inner city San Diego, woodworking, ESOL Environmental Science at a boarding school, to farm-based education at Hawthorne Valley. No matter the setting, he seeks to unleash the transformative power of direct experience for connecting with purpose and creating a better world.

Rachel Schneider

Rachel is Director of the Hawthorne Valley Farm Place Based Learning Center which focuses on farm based educational programming for children and families and professional training in the vocation of agriculture. Rachel holds a masters degree in Waldorf education.


Connor Stedman

Connor Stedman is an agroforester, ecological designer, and wilderness educator. Connor is a lead educator at the Omega Center for Sustainable Living (OCSL)'s Ecological Literacy Immersion Program (ELIP). Connor has spent over a decade supporting students of all ages to build deep connections with the natural world as their ecological home. He leads the design firm AppleSeed Permaculture, working to envision and design new patterns of regenerative land stewardship.

Rebecca Cosenza

Rebecca Cosenza returned to the Hudson Valley after studying Cross-Cultural Relations, Visual Studies, and Flamenco at Bard College at Simon's Rock. Rebecca's experience as a cultural liaison with API at the University of Sevilla and with a linguistic ethnographic field school in Ecuador continue to inform her role storytelling as Director of Outreach and Digital Communication at Instar Lodge. A constant student, she is interested in aesthetic education, trans-disciplinary collaboration, and wonderfully messy, hard conversations. 

Sandrine Harris

Sandrine Harris is a movement teacher, mindfulness meditation facilitator, trauma educator, and dancer. She is passionate about the connection between embodied practices, the health of the nervous system, and how relational consciousness shapes our lives and experiences. Sandrine holds a private practice in the Berkshires and CT, and facilitates international retreats and workshops. She earned a BA in Art History and Philosophy (Hunter College), and holds several certifications in mind-body modalities, including the Feldenkrais Method®. She has offered workshops at NYU, The Hotchkiss School, and Indian Mountain School. 

Steffen Schneider

Steffen has over three decades of experience as a biodynamic farmer and herdsman. He is the former Director of Farming Operations at Hawthorne Valley Farm. Steffen holds a masters degree in agriculture from the Justus Von Liebig University in Giessen, Germany.



Matthew Stinchcomb

Before heading up the Good Work Institute, Matt was the longest serving employee and the VP of Values and Impact at Etsy.com. In that role, he oversaw the stewardship of the company’s vision, mission, and values, and worked to give all employees the means and the desire to maximize the benefit their work has on people and the planet.


Dawn Breeze

A creativity advocate, change agent, and internationally awarded artist, living and working in Germantown, NY. Breeze has created multiple creative curriculums for k-8, to recovery centers, to corporations. Founder and ED of Instar Lodge community art space for the past three years, she currently consults on education, creativity and leadership.


Martin Ping

Martin Ping is the Executive Director of Hawthorne Valley Association, a not-for-profit dedicated to renewing soil, society, and self through the integration of education, agriculture and art on a 900-acre Biodynamic farm.  Martin has been at Hawthorne Valley for 30 years.  During much of that time he taught practical arts in the High School and was Director of Facilities.  Martin has served as ED since 2003, and currently teaches economics in Grade 12.  He is co-founder and storyteller for The Magical Puppet Tree.


Place Corps is a project of mission aligned organizations Good Work Institute and Hawthorne Valley Association


Founded in mid-2015, The Good Work Institute is a nonprofit organization working to foster resilience and regeneration in the Hudson Valley of New York by cultivating, supporting, and connecting local community members and organizations who are working for positive social, ecological, and economic impact.


Hawthorne Valley Association (HVA) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization promoting social and cultural renewal through the integration of education, agriculture and the arts. Hawthorne Valley hopes to foster sustainable forms of human endeavor that enhance the quality of life for ourselves and for future generations.



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