Princeton Learning Cooperative helps teenagers live and learn without school. Our staff supports teens as they create personalized educations based on their interests, strengths, and goals.

We offer mentoring and guidance and a safe and comfortable place to work and socialize. In addition, we offer a range of opportunities for learning and growth, including classes that run throughout the day, one-on-one tutorials, and excursions into the wider world. We help our teens find internships, jobs, and volunteer opportunities, and we help them with college admissions and other transitional steps as they move on to their adult lives.

Katy in a mentoring meeting with Connor

A Learning Community

Princeton Learning Cooperative is a safe and welcoming community of teens and adults.

On any given day, you will find teens, staff and volunteers participating in classes or activities, playing games, talking, laughing, going for walks, or sitting quietly and reading or working on projects.

By having more personal autonomy - while working within the community - teens can practice leadership, communication and collaboration skills in real ways that reflect what they will need later in life.


Our Staff

Joel Hammon

While PLC is open you can find me mentoring young people, leading the Current Events, US History, Evolution, Career Exploration, Intellectual Self-Defense, or House Band classes, or attempting to strong-arm people into signing up for 5k or 10k races.

I have two children and enjoy running, playing guitar, reading and being a part of the educational revolution 🙂

Along with Paul Scutt, I co-founded PLC in 2010 after teaching in public and private schools for 11 years. You can see me talk about the decision to start PLC in my TEDx talk from 2017.

You can reach me at

Katy Burke

PLC makes me so happy. I have worked with teens my entire career as a public school teacher, but PLC allows me to be much more involved in their lives. I love getting to know the whole person; working, playing, and laughing alongside them; giving them comfort and counsel when needed; and developing relationships with the teens’ families.

When not working, I am raising 2 daughters, managing my home, getting involved in my church and local community, and learning more about topics I personally find meaningful.

I also occasionally like to write, start knitting projects, and play 4 chords on the ukulele :D.

Reach out to me at

Yi Pan

Trained as a research scientist, I like to show young people the power of asking questions and trying things out. I have a lot of experience teaching and mentoring outside of formal classroom settings, which makes PLC a great place for me. I teach Physics, Chemistry and History of Diseases and Disasters, and help our Maker Club and Gardening Club. I enjoy helping PLC teens grow into confident and competent Captains of their own life.

I’m the mother of two teenagers, one of them is a PLC alumnus. I fill my free time by volunteering, fooling around with various hands-on projects, reading, and daydreaming.

To get connected, please email

Heather Sia

PLC is exactly the type of place I dreamed of as an ideal learning space. In the last decade, working with children of all ages and levels, I saw what child-led learning could accomplish. PLC brings together interest driven education in a cooperative environment that allows for growth on so many levels. I am thrilled to be a part of PLC.

When I’m not at PLC, I spend some of my time tutoring teens and mentoring adults with autism. I enjoy cooking, true crime podcasts, picking up new hobbies and abandoning them, and weekend adventures with my husband, three children and two dogs.

Contact me at

PLC's staff members are Joel, Pan, Katy, and Heather but it takes many, many more dedicated people to make PLC work. Learn about the rest of the team.