The Farmhouse Paul Krasinski at The Farmhouse
Meet Paul Krasinski, the tech mogul brother of actor John Krasinski, who dreams of empowering today's youth with his newest venture.
Tucked away in a cozy corner of Plymouth, Mass., is The Farmhouse, a breathtaking 10-acre retreat that Paul proudly calls his passion project.
The Farmhouse offers opportunities for young people to grow personally and professionally via interactive programming and face-to-face interactions, he tells PEOPLE. The goal, he adds, is to help young people discover their true passion in life — from serving the environment to more creative endeavors — while also giving them the tools they need to follow their dreams and help create change in the word.
Paul says he donated more than $2 million to The Farmhouse Retreat Inc., the nonprofit side of the venture, as a "springboard" to get the project off the ground following the mid-October acquisition of Epicenter Experience, a software company he co-founded in 2015.
"Until now, there really hasn't been a place where people who are struggling to find their path could go and interact with others just like them," Paul says. "The Farmhouse is this place."
The Farmhouse A look at The Farmhouse from the entrance
Paul and his brother grew up in the city of Newton, Mass., about 50 miles north of where the retreat is situated along the Cape Cod Bay. Their father, Ronald, was passionate about the power of face-to-face interactions and building personal connections.
Now, Paul is infusing his father's philosophy into The Farmhouse, which he purchased and began renting out after visiting for the first time in 2017.
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At the changemaker retreat, young people are empowered to become the best versions of themselves by "overcoming self-doubt, and acquiring core life skills," according to its website. And instead of functioning as a traditional educational setting, the retreat encourages participants to actively engage in various forms of interactive programming, Paul says.
The Farmhouse Paul Krasinski at The Farmhouse
Of course, Paul knew The Farmhouse had to feel welcoming, especially with a young target audience. So he aimed to develop a space that is "cool" and functional while also being a "safe space" for individuals to grow and learn.
"What we wanted was a place that all people felt comfortable [in]" Paul explains. "There's no judgment for anyone."
Each corner of the property has its own special use. Guests enter through a rustic gate and up a long winding driveway, which gives visitors a chance to absorb the classic New England landscape.
At the top of the driveway is "The Market" — a garage-like, mixed-used space, which has already hosted farm-to-table events, pop-up retail stores and local art galleries, Paul says.
The Farmhouse "The Market" — a garage-like, mixed-used space at The Farmhouse
On the left side of the property is the "Biddle Barn," a small shed-like structure that, when finished, will function as a studio for audio and visual production and storytelling.
The space was designed and created with some help from Boston artists Jemuel "Jem" Stephenson, 28, and Yotron the Don, 29, who have known each other since 2017.
Jem, who has been working with The Farmhouse since 2021, helped connect Paul and Yotron.
"[Paul] genuinely wants to help people and wants to give people an opportunity to get away from their everyday lives, as hectic as it can be," Yotron tells PEOPLE. "I really love that about him, and I've seen it in action."
The Farmhouse An inside look at Biddle Barn at The Farmhouse
Although still in its infancy, like Jem and Yotron, young people are already finding various opportunities at The Farmhouse. Ben Eaton, 26, of Plymouth, helped Paul collect promotional footage of the property using his photography and drone-flying skills.
Eaton, co-founder of Sojourner Media, tells PEOPLE he reached out to the nonprofit about collaborating on content after working at a wedding on the property in October 2021.
Paul leapt at the opportunity, responding to his message the very next day, Eaton says. And soon, he was back at The Farmhouse capturing images of the property with his drone, which can be seen on the nonprofit's website.
Nearly a year later, Paul reached back out to Eaton and asked him to help teach classes on video and audio production as well as editing.
Eaton, who is self-taught, tells PEOPLE he's excited to have an opportunity to share his knowledge with other creatives who have opted out of learning in a traditional setting.
"The idea of college was kind of tough for me because it was always pushed on me," he says. "But having this program where people can come in and learn these skills that they can use to start their own business … is such a good idea."
The Farmhouse A view of Cape Cod Bay from The Farmhouse
Programming at The Farmhouse is focused on serving people, animals and the environment while simultaneously learning to establish interpersonal skills and relationships.
The nonprofit has already conducted multiple programs with various notable groups and organizations such as Mental Health Declassified, the Boys and Girls Club of Plymouth, St. Louis Life, and Bethesda House.
The Farmhouse has also teamed up with Plymouth South High School to offer students outdoor education programs geared around gardening and agriculture, solar energy, animals, and more. The nonprofit's first full-time employee, Mariah McKenna, helped set up the connection with her alma mater.
"Paul's vision is so aligned with what I believe in for kids," Patty Fry, principal of Plymouth South High School, tells PEOPLE.
"The more we can provide high school-age students opportunities, the better," she adds, "because that tends to be what tends to be missing to get them connected."
The Farmhouse also functions, in part, as an animal haven — and is now home to a pair of goats and a pair of ducks. Additionally, the nonprofit has teamed up with the National Marine Life Center in Bourne, Mass., to release seals back into their habitat following rehabilitation.
World-renowned primatologist and anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall has recognized the potential for success at The Farmhouse, as well.
Paul tells PEOPLE that Goodall has even "agreed to find a way to collaborate" with Paul on furthering her work and legacy following a one-on-one dinner at her hotel earlier this year.
Epicenter is getting in on the fun, too. Paul says The Farmhouse is currently working with the company, purchased by Stagwell Marketing, to develop QR Code infrastructure to help elevate the non-profit's education, agriculture, and learning capabilities.
All of that, and much more is in store at The Farmhouse — and Paul is excited by the "new ideas being hatched" each day at the property.
"I mean we're on Year 1," Paul tells PEOPLE. "So we're kind of getting, finally, to the place where we're truly doing awesome programming, and it's been fun."