Empowering Youth. Fulfilling Potential.

We’re a mission-driven organization with an unwavering focus on being the leading provider of academic, admissions, and career coaching in Canada and beyond.


We're committed to helping students fulfill their educational, career, and personal potential.

Today’s students feel ill-prepared to navigate the complex decisions, challenges, and opportunities that they face throughout this pivotal period of their lives. That’s why our mission is to empower students to become their best selves and achieve their goals in education, career, and life, while also giving parents the support they need to foster this for their children as well.

We offer 1-on-1, on-demand virtual coaching, tailored to each student’s individual background, needs, and circumstances. Our vision is for every young person to have the tools and support they need to make the most of their unique strengths and overcome any obstacles that may be standing in their way of creating a brighter future for themselves and the world.



Coaching Hours Delivered


12+ Years

Experience Coaching Youth



Coach Satisfaction Score


$5 Million+

Scholarships Awarded to Students


7-9x Higher

Chance of Acceptance to Competitive Universities



Students Accepted to Their Top-choice Programs

Our Values


We believe in diversity and inclusivity and we strive to create an environment where every student, coach and employee feels valued for who they are. We hold ourselves to a high standard of ethical behavior and we expect the same from others. We believe that integrity is the foundation of positive collaboration and mutual respect and this will help us to achieve our goals together.


Life is full of things that seem difficult or impossible, but the biggest successes happen when you push the envelope and go beyond what you ever thought was possible. That's what coaching is all about: embracing the belief that we can learn and grow to achieve any obstacle or goal. So, in the same way we help students reach their potential, we try to do the same.


We believe that it's not about the resources we have, but how we use them to achieve our goals. We embrace change as a journey and choose to persevere through challenges and uncertainty with a positive outlook. Whether it's at work, school, or in your personal life, find joy in everyday moments and be confident that the best is yet to come.


We strive for excellence in everything we do. We believe that if you're going to do something, you might as well do it well—and we expect the same from our students. We believe that by setting a high bar for ourselves and our students, we can help each other achieve great things, become our best, and create a positive impact in the world.

Youthfully Team Screenshot

Our Story

Youthfully was founded by Joel Nicholson and Nader Karass, two guys with vastly different upbringings and experiences, but both share a common belief that young people need better access to high quality coaching to guide them through this defining transition in their lives.

Joel was lucky to have a dad as a guidance counsellor to help him navigate his youth with more confidence, but he sought something more.

“I wanted to accomplish big things in my life—get into a top university, build a business, land a great job, improve my time management, and more—but there was only so much my dad had the expertise and time to help me with.”

This formed the initial idea for Youthfully: providing students with 1-on-1 coaching support as a complement to traditional counselling.

Joel started coaching a handful of students and each year. As his students achieved their goals and went on to lead successful lives, the demand for his services grew.

“I recruited other coaches from different backgrounds and started teaching them the concept of ‘youth coaching’, which is based on the same underlying principles of traditional coaching, but specifically tailored for the needs of students and their parents.”

This approach focuses on self-discovery, goal setting, skills development, and taking action towards real-world goals, while ensuring the student remains in the driver’s seat the entire time.

Then, by form of fate, Joel and Nader’s common passion for education allowed their paths to cross…

…Nader grew up in Egypt and had a similar story of feeling lost and unsupported during his own youth. He dabbled with several different post-secondary pursuits before finally discovering his passion for computer science.

But Nader faced another challenge:

“I applied to Canadian universities from Egypt and had to steer myself through a completely unfamiliar university admissions system as a teenager with a blindfold on,” he said.

“I had no one guiding me through adolescence, and wasted a lot of time and money figuring it out on my own. This won’t be the case for my three kids.”

And so Joel and Nader eventually teamed up to create Youthfully: a platform for young people to access dedicated, high-quality coaching to help them achieve their goals.

Joel brings more than 12 years’ of experience coaching thousands of youth and running a manager coaching programs in corporate, while Nader brings world-class technical expertise being one of the senior software engineers at a leading online tutoring company.

Today, Youthfully has built a network of carefully selected and trained coaches who empower young people to fulfill their education, career, and personal potential.

In the same way a high-level athlete or a high-performing corporate professional gets access to the best coaches for their needs, Youthfully now gives students and their parents the same opportunity, at an affordable price.

We fundamentally believe coaching can help every student be their best and change the world.


Joel Nicholson

Co-founder & CEO

As someone who was raised in a family of educators, Joel realized that a crucial aspect of his learning journey was missing. After graduating from Queen's Commerce in 2010, he combined insights as a top admissions coach in Canada with the training he received as a management consultant to coach high school students virtually on their transition to university. He co-founded CampusRankings to try and solve this problem with big data, but sold the business in 2016 to focus on Youthfully as it was clear that students craved guidance from a mentor—not a computer. Today, Joel calls Calgary home and spends free time in the mountains or the water.

Nader Karass

Co-founder & CTO

After moving to Canada from Egypt to attend Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, Nader applied his passion for tech and coding and worked at the Student Life Network and various leading startups in the education and tech sector. Nader works hard to find innovative ways to improve learning and development methods and help make education more accessible to everyone. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking and putting together puzzles with his kids.

Our Impact

Youthfully’s Social Impact Fund offers free or subsidized youth coaching for students from underrepresented or low-income backgrounds. The program aims to provide students with the same access to our world-class, dedicated coaches as if they were a paying customer. We partner with public district school boards to promote the opportunity and students can apply to participate.

The program is officially funded through a separate charitable organization, of which, Youthfully is the main partner. We contribute 5% of capital raised and 5% of annual profits into the fund, and we raise money from other organizations to support our mission. This helps level the playing field, bridge the gap, and create a more equitable society. We are excited to see the positive results of this program and to continue expanding our efforts in the future.


Interested in joining a fast-growing edtech company? We’re currently hiring for the below roles:

We’re always looking for top talent, so if there’s no role that fits your skill set, drop us a line and introduce yourself.

News & Appearances

Youthfully Workshop at Enactus UBC

Youthfully Workshop at Enactus UBC

Big thanks to Coach Jon for his insightful session on university application preparation, shared with 100 high school students at the Ennovate event by Enactus, held at UBC. Great work!

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Globe and Mail Feature

Globe and Mail Feature

We're thrilled to be featured in The Globe and Mail again—this time discussing how Youthfully is helping students build the skills they need to conquer challenging university admissions requirements.

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Maclean’s Guidebook Feature

Maclean’s Guidebook Feature

Youthfully was named the "best application help money can buy", noted for our 1:1 coaching approach, as part of a feature in the University Guidebook.

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Coach Named 2022 Emerging Leader

Coach Named 2022 Emerging Leader

Joel Nicholson, Co-founder & CEO of Youthfully, was named one of the 2022 Emerging Leaders by The Peak, Canada's most read business & tech newsletter.

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Coach Wins Gold Medal

Coach Wins Gold Medal

How cool is it that one of our coaches, Adrian, won the Gold Medal for achieving the highest average in his Master's of Business Analytics program at Western Ivey? Now he has an HBA undergrad and Master's — talk about well-educated!

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Coach Wins Forty Under 40 Award

Coach Wins Forty Under 40 Award

One of our youth coaches, Alex, became the youngest recipient of the Forty Under 40 Ottawa Award. Alex is the COO of a video marketing agency and philanthropist through his 12Because.ca initiative, for which Youthfully is a proud sponsor. Go Alex!

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Junior Economic Club of Toronto

Junior Economic Club of Toronto

Youthfully spoke at three Junior Economic Club (JEC) of Toronto Summits on building self-awareness and conquering university applications. Former JEC President, Robert Di Marco, said our workshops “allowed students with different goals and interests to connect and relate it to their everyday lives.”

U of T Rotman Commerce

U of T Rotman Commerce

From 2016-2018, we designed and delivered over a dozen workshops on skills development and self-awareness for 100+ U of T Rotman Commerce students.

QLEAD (Queen’s)

QLEAD (Queen’s)

The Queen's Leadership, Excellence, and Development Conference (QLEAD) is an incredible conference for high school students, hosted at Smith School of Business. In 2015, we were asked to run a workshop for 100+ delegates and we've been invited back to present for five years. QLEAD is always a blast.

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