Discovery House is a service-based, bridge experience for participants ages 18-24.  Participants make a commitment to providing direct service, communal living and using reflection to synthesize those experiences. Each person selects the length of program that is best for them.

The options are:

·       4- week summer session (June 19, 2019- July 20, 2019)

·       Full Year (10-month commitment; July 31, 2019- May 2020)

·       Semester (5-month commitment; Aug. to Dec. or Jan. to May)

Located in Milwaukee, WI this is a unique experience as one of a few service-based gap year experiences located in the United States. 

Fast Facts About Discovery House

 Set up a live,  google hangout , (video informational meeting) with Director Joe Nettesheim to discuss details about Discovery House. Registration is necessary.

Set up a live, google hangout, (video informational meeting) with Director Joe Nettesheim to discuss details about Discovery House. Registration is necessary.

The longest journey is the journey inward.

— Dag Hammarskjold


An essential part of the Discovery House gap year experience is living in community.  Simple accommodations would be provided for up to eight co-ed residents. The community will provide support and challenge participants to share, accept others, be open, compromise, resolve conflict, forgive and love. Housing includes: room, board and a modest monthly stipend.  Eligible participants who complete a ten-month commitment may be eligible for an educational scholarship. 



Discovery House volunteers make a ten-month commitment of providing 4 days (at least 32 hours) of direct service per week to a non-profit organization.  While each service site would provide a unique experience, they all will focus on direct contact with people.  Service sites are:

General areas of service could be program, administration, development, marketing and communication. 




A formation day will be held each week.  Formation days will include spiritual, human, intellectual, and pastoral areas. Emphasis would be placed on assisting participants to determine their gifts, life-goals and create a plan to achieve their hopes and dreams as a servant leader.  Each participant will have a mentor/life coach who will assist them in developing a plan for what is next in their life.  Activities, reflection, dialogue and mentor or spiritual director meetings are a part of each formation day.  



Growing in one’s understanding of self,  discerning their gifts and finding God is the essence of the 12plus1 experience.  Opportunities to reflect on your experience will occur through:

  • Regularly scheduled community prayer,

  • Weekly formation days,

  • Monthly spiritual direction,

  • Group discussion about faith/spirituality and

  • Quiet and personal reflection