The Compass Experience




Our process involves testing, teaching, class interaction, and practical application. The end goal of students being ethical employees, adding value to business, and growing and advancing in their career.

Teaching Segments:

Leading Self Leading Others Leading in Business
Responsibility Resolving Conflict Investments
Respect Emotional Intelligence Personal & Business Finance
Integrity Health & Wellness Sales & Marketing
Focus and Action Critical Thinking Culture & Ethics
Servanthood Communication Logistics
Priority Management   Team Building
Understanding Self   Vision & Creation


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Who are We?

The Compass Experience

A charitable 501C3 nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching leadership, business competency, financial literacy, and interpersonal skills to set middle school students up for success in the workplace, in relationships and in life in their communities.

We Value…

Integrity: Adhering to the highest moral and ethical principles to display soundness of moral character is something we do as an organization as well as something we instill and demonstrate with our students, donors, partners and volunteer base.

Relationship: Our foundation is built on relationships. It is the venue where influence flows. We facilitate open, honest and respectful communication, compassion for one another, and dignity as we anticipate individual growth and change within our organization and with our students.

Accountability: We operate with a spirit of accountability and believe when two or more are working together, we can accomplish far more than working alone and lacking the inherent accountability that team approaches provide. We accept our individual and team responsibilities and honor our commitments. As an organization we lead by example with our sphere of influence by always being open to answer the pertinent and tough questions while always being held accountable for our actions both internally with checks and balances and externally with responsibility to whomever we work with or partner with.

Diversity: We have a great commitment to respecting, embracing, honoring, and demonstrating diversity in all aspects of our operations. It is a priority to always maintain diversity as one of our strengths. We believe uniqueness is powerful and enriching and having a mosaic of diversity in all dimensions–demographical, cultural, cognitive, and occupational underscores The Compass Experience’s unwavering commitment that every student, parent, coach, mentor, volunteer, and partner in business, education and finance is welcomed, engaged and supported.

The Whole Person: We believe that valuing the entire person is the best way to create a true impact in a person’s life. This is why we partner with various experts, organizations and businesses to offer guidance, experience, and opportunity to help our students learn about who they are, why they are, where they want to go and then equipping them to walk confidently in that direction.

Source-Root Solutions: We know that we can’t fix and heal everyone and every aspect of the things that challenge and stifle aspects of potential success for people and communities but we believe if we devote the right resources and focus to the youth of our nation, we can ensure we strike the root of the problems we see in our current world. We want to be a source-root Solution.

Meet Our Board

Teil Blackshare

A seasoned leader with more than 25 years of hands-on experience developing strategies, managing P&Ls, and building and developing teams. Experience in both the public and private sector. Skillful in delivering results and ensuring operational performance and profitability. A passion for creating a positive culture. Experience in communicating at all levels of the organization. Strategic Planning and Execution Communication Technology Architecture and Implementation Project Management Business Process Management Software Development Management Organizational Design Software Design & Analysis Leadership Development Business Development IT Delivery and Data Center Operations

Deron Lock

Deron Lock is a graduate of Kansas State University where he majored in Agricultural Economics. Upon graduation he worked for Continental Grain and Koch Industries where he worked both in domestic and international trading and sales. Moving through the Koch organization he lived in Chicago, London England and Lexington, KY before buying a majority share holding in a manufacturing company in Wichita, KS. He is currently president of those manufacturing companies under Industrial Ventures Incorporated. Deron has served on other councils and boards in addition to a board member at Compass Experience. He is currently on the Rose Hill Jr Football Board where he serves as vice president. Deron has coached hundreds of kids in junior sports since the late 90’s. Deron’s wife Sherye is a retired schoolteacher and they have two grown sons and a daughter in law. Sherye and their sons are also graduates of Kansas State. Deron enjoys reading about history economics and current events but would like to spend more time travelling and golfing. Deron and Sherye currently live on a small ranch outside of Wichita, KS.

Greg Couch

MG (Retired) Couch is a graduate of Kansas State University and was commissioned in 1979. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science and Industry from Kansas State University; Master of Science from Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida, and a Masters in Strategic Studies from the US Army War College. MG Couch has served over 35 years as a Soldier and his key assignments include numerous staff positions and command at Company, Battalion, Brigade level and higher. He retired after serving as the Chief of Staff, United States Transportation Command, Scott AFB, IL. His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), the Army Commendation Medal (5 awards), the Army Achievement Medal (3 awards), the Iraqi Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal . MG Couch retired from Civil Service as the Director for Programs and Services, at the United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was responsible for education and physical plant operations of the prison.

Bill Snyder

Bill Snyder from a coal-mining town in Ohio/West Virginia area, left for college at 17 years old. He earned degrees from Central Bible College and Assembly of God Theological Seminary and for much of his professional career worked in many cities as a vocational minister, and director of college ministries in the Midwest region. His true passions are all tied to leadership, mentoring students, serving the under-served and equipping the next generation to be successful in business, in relationships and in life. He led, coached, managed, and oversaw many teams in multiple leadership positions over his career and wanted to give back to people who have the potential but not the opportunity. He founded The Compass Experience in 2012 and this is the platform he’s made those passions a reality while partnering with other organizations and individuals who share this passion to truly impact the nation, one community, one student at a time. He has a remarkable woman by his side who walked confidently alongside him throughout this journey as his wife and best friend for over 40 years, Wendy Snyder. Together they have two children, Clint and Elizabeth who live locally in the KC metro area, and 5 granddaughters Lola, Lina, Penny, Glory and Wonder. For Bill, it is a joy to be able to serve the community and allow the next generation, within his own family tree, be a part of the mission of this organization and to keep that passion alive and contagious because we really believe we are better together.

Impact Shops

Crossroads Middle School Program

This program is a culmination of a few moving parts and different approaches throughout the calendar year. Summer is Cash & Career, Academic year is Impact Shops & our After School Program.

Cash & Career Curriculum 

Cash & Career is a summer program, that runs for 4-6 weeks, typically for students summer after their 6th, 7th, and 8th grade years. We currently operate in the Kansas City metro and Wichita metro areas. 2022 brought the addition of Oklahoma City metro as well. Our concept blends classes on personal, social, and professional competencies with mentorship, working internship at a local business; a local bank educating them in financial literacy so they know what to do with their money from the paid stipend they earn at the end of the program.

Just a Few of the Teaching Segments:

Personal Skills Social Skills
Workplace Skills
Financial Skills 
Integrity Teamwork Planning & Organization Opening A Checking Account
Initiative Communication
Problem Solving
Credit & Debit
Dependability & Reliability
Respect Decision Making Interest
Adaptability Empathy Business Fundamentals
Professionalism  Civic Responsibility Acquisition & Maintenance of a Job Budgeting & Saving


Successful Completion:

Upon graduation, students will have been given knowledge and practical application of the skillsets needed to thrive in the professional world. Throughout this program, these students are actively learning in several focused competencies and learning in multiple methods for reinforcing each lesson.

They will have learned what it takes to have a job, how to get the job they want in the future, and how to maintain and excel in that workplace.

They will have learned personal finance, saving, credit, budgeting, and being financially responsible.

They will have learned about their self-awareness, their personality type with its strengths and challenges and how to make decisions based on their values to get their goals in a focused attainable place.

They will also receive the stipend for all the hard work they did with new insight on what to do with it through our financial literacy piece.

Impact Shops

After the first few years of our C & C Program, we realized we were needing to offer something to continue connection and education throughout the year.  Impact Shops (1-2 in the fall and 1-2 in the spring) to serve our individual groups of students tailoring the workshop style sessions to their needs, interests and areas they need more emphasis on for their individual success. We wanted to be more than a positive summer program, we truly want to Impact the lives of the students in our program and those they interact with in their communities!

Upcoming, we have plans to launch in Raymore-Peculiar and are working on virtual access to portions of our curriculum and experiences!

Cash & Career Application