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LLC – Celebrating Its 50th Year. Sort of…


Life Learning Community was born of a hope that began over 50 years ago in a small classroom in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. There was a very eager young man in that class who had a deep desire to discover what school was all about and to learn the things every kindergartner should know. That four-year-old boy couldn’t wait to get to school on that first day; however, it didn’t take long before he discovered that school wasn’t all that he had hoped and dreamed it would be. In fact, by the end of that first year, he had become discouraged.

Forever the optimist, he knew he had 12 more years and surely it would get better. Unfortunately, it never did. That young man spent the first three quarters of his life in a stuffy environment filled with unmotivated adults who seemed unconsciously bent on creating another generation of disengaged individuals with their same lackluster view on life…especially life in the classroom.

This young man graduated from that school system in June 1977 with a very jaded attitude towards education. I know, because I was that young man.

When it was time for my own children to begin their educational careers, I was again deeply concerned about the availability of quality education. My wife and I researched the options that were available to us so we could make an informed decision regarding our children’s educational future.

And so began my journey of longing to be a part of an educational community that would bless my children and our entire family. Unbeknownst to me, two things lay ahead that would eventually lead to the founding of LLC: several years of disappointment regarding the basic expectations I had as a parent of young students, and the fanning of the flame that was first ignited back in kindergarten—a voice that kept saying, “it has to get better than this.”

That flame grew, and a vision began to take shape. I knew that God was calling me to commit the rest of my life to that vision.

As this story unfolded, my family and I ultimately spent over 20 years in three different educational institutions where I was able to gain priceless experience serving as a parent volunteer, board member, teacher, and ultimately as an administrator for the last 10 years. I first believed that the vision burning in my heart was to be implemented within the organization where I was serving at that time. However, it became very clear that the only way it was ever going to come to fruition was to begin from scratch—to redesign education from the foundation up! I will never forget the words of a very wise pastor who once told me that it is easier to give birth than to raise the dead. Amen!

So, late in the fall of 2012, through a series of circumstances that only God could have orchestrated, the basic concept for Life Learning Community was born. I spent the next six months in over 100 meetings with high-performing individuals in the areas of education, ministry, and business to get their input regarding this endeavor. During this time of deep prayer and discovery, God’s whisper became a shout. It was crystal clear that this was indeed a God-given and God-honoring vision that I was about to dedicate the rest of my life to.

Great things don’t happen overnight without faith, without risk, or without dedication—in the case of LLC, a dedication to redesigning what an educational community should look like.

Now in our fifth year, the future has never looked better for LLC.

And we know that God is just getting started. He has provided for us in ways that we could have never have dreamed. We are now aggressively positioning ourselves to develop LLC 2.0, which will be the most unique learning community in the world. Why would we ever desire anything less? Please take the time to look deeper into the culture of LLC and prayerfully consider joining us on this one-of-a-kind, life-changing journey.

I am extremely thankful for the blessing of LLC, and I’m aware each moment that without God’s unwavering support and guidance, my family’s endless encouragement, and the greatest team in the world, this would not be a reality. Thank you for checking us out!


John Zylka

Founder, Chief Inspiration Officer