The Launch gives you the practical, intellectual, and moral foundation to be a man of character. Through a combination of seminars, one-on-one mentoring, and career presentations by successful professionals, it helps you develop the skills and habits necessary to be effective in college and later on as a father, a professional, and a friend.

Please note: All Launch seminars for the 2020-21 academic year will be offered in-person (with a remote option), however, to allow for more social distancing and to better accommodate remote participants, they will take place at Northridge Preparatory School (8320 Ballard Rd, Niles, IL 60714).  Click here for more information about Sauganash’s COVID guidelines.


The Launch helps young men see their high school years not simply as a stepping stone toward college but as critically formative for their entire life.

It encourages them to start developing now the skills and attitudes they will need for future life challenges:

Professional work
Friendship with family, colleagues, neighbors, and God
Marriage and fatherhood
Responsible citizenship.

Through a combination of classes, career presentations, and one-on-one mentoring, it teaches them to be men of character who are ready for responsibility.


The Launch gives you the practical, intellectual, and moral foundation to be a man of character. Through a combination of seminars, one-on-one mentoring, and career presentations by successful professionals, it helps you develop the skills and habits necessary to be effective in college and later on as a father, a professional, and a friend.

The Big Picture Seminar (Freshmen)

From day one of freshman year, you make decisions, sometimes without realizing it, that will affect where you go to college, what kind of job you’ll have, and even who your wife will be.  This seminar will help you navigate those decisions and make the choices that will help shape you into the man you want to become.

The Professional Seminar (Sophomores)

You’re going to spend close to 50 years working in the profession you choose, so you want to make sure it’s one that’s a good fit for you. You’re laying the foundation for your career already in high school, making sophomore year an ideal time to start considering your career options and how they fit with your abilities and interests. In this seminar, leading professionals discuss the challenges and opportunities that arise in their line of work, their daily responsibilities, and what you can do now to prepare for a successful career in their field.
The College Application & Beyond Seminar (Juniors)
As you begin the college application process, knowing which majors are good fits for you and your professional aspirations can be a critical factor in focusing on the right college, which in turn will enable you to have a more meaningful college career. This seminar starts with presentations by current college students who will familiarize you with their experiences in their majors. The seminar then delves into key aspects of the college application process – especially learning to market yourself.

The College Application & Beyond Seminar (Juniors)

In the not too distant future, other people – at work, among your friends, in your family – will be depending on you for guidance. Your ability to lead them well will depend to a large extent on whether you live a reflective life yourself, allowing you to grasp why certain things are true, not just blindly accepting what everyone else says. This seminar gives you a framework to tackle fundamental intellectual questions which you will encounter in college and professional life.

Mentoring & Parents

What is mentoring?:  Each participant is assigned a mentor who meets individually with him once a month.  Mentors help participants to apply the principles covered in each seminar to their everyday lives through practical and measurable monthly goals. Mentors focus on guiding participants to greater self-knowledge and challenging them to form the habits that will define their character.  Mentoring sessions last about 30 minutes and take place at Sauganash Study Center.

Parents are the protagonists.  The work we do at Sauganash only complements the immeasurable efforts of parents to raise their sons as men of character. Consequently, the mentors at Sauganash can accomplish more the more closely they can work with the parents of each student to address their son’s particular needs.  In addition to meeting with each student every month, mentors are regularly available to meet with their mentees’ parents at Sauganash Study Center to discuss how Sauganash can best serve them and their son.  For meetings to be most effective, we ask that both parents be present for any scheduled meeting with a mentor.

Schedule a meeting with your son’s mentor below.

Edwin Carbajal

Freshman Program Director

Work Experience: Northridge Preparatory School, National Institute of Health
Education: BA, Biology, Princeton University; MSBS, Microbiology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Schedule a mentoring session with Edwin

Justin Reckart
Sophomore Program Director

Work Experience: Sauganash Study Center, Vista Equity Partners
Education: BA, Economics, Stanford University; MS, Financial Economics, Columbia Business School

Schedule a mentoring session with Justin

Pat Healy

Junior Program Director

Work Experience: Northridge Preparatory School, Moody’s Corporation
Education: BA, Economics & Finance, University of Dallas

Schedule a mentoring session with Pat

Sean Kirwan
Junior Program Assistant Director

Work Experience: GeoServices Inc., UIUC Research Assistant
Education: BA & MS, Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Schedule a mentoring session with Sean

Vince Rinaolo
Senior Program Director

Work Experience: NuMat Technologies, Northridge Preparatory School, South Bronx Educational Foundation
Education: BS & MS, Chemistry, Northwestern University

Schedule a mentoring session with Vince


3:45 – 5:15 Study Session
5:15 – 6:00 Dinner
6:00 – 7:00 Seminar

This year, Sauganash will provide individually packaged catered dinners for those interested.  Participants are also welcome to bring their own packed dinners.

The Big Picture Seminar (Thursdays)

September 17 Making the Most of High School
October 8 Character & Maturity
October 22 Self-Knowledge
November 5 Time Management
November 19 What Colleges are Looking For
December 3 Being a Man of Culture
January 14 Study Habits
January 21 Extracurricular Activities
February 4 Productive Use of Summer
February 18 A Life of Service
March 4 Never Quitting
March 18 Self-Mastery
April 15 Deep Friendship
April 22 Treating Women with Respect
May 6 True Manliness
May 20 Freedom & Happiness

The Professional Seminar (Thursdays)

September 17 Which Career is for You?
October 8 Discovering a Career in the Pharmaceutical Industry
November 19 Let’s Make a Deal: Learning Business
January 21 Planning for a Productive Summer
February 18 A Career in Software Development
March 18 A Walk Down Wall Street: Working in Finance
April 15 Exploring the Law
April 22 Understanding the Medical Profession
May 6 Making Things Work: Engineering


The Professional Seminar (Tuesdays)

September 22 Choosing a Major I
October 20 Choosing a Major II
November 17 Choosing a Major III
December 1 Managing the College Application Process
February 2 Planning For a Productive Summer
February 16 The Art of the Resume I
March 2 The Art of the Resume II
March 16 Learning to Interview
April 13 Mock Interviews

Filling in the Gaps (Tuesdays)

September 22 Relativism: What is Truth?
October 20 Morality & Conscience
November 17 Sexuality & Identity
December 1 Bioethics in the 21st Century
January 26 Soul & Spirit: Do They Matter?
February 16 Creation & Evolution: Where Do We Come From?
March 16 Authority & Freedom: Can We Have Both?
April 13 Marriage & Society
May 11 Reliability of Scripture


Cost & Registration

Freshman Seminar: $450

Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Seminars: $350

Pay online here.

Financial considerations should not prevent anyone from attending. Scholarships may be requested.  For more information, please contact Justin Reckart at or 773-283-1099.