BELL Names Lauren Sanchez Gilbert as Chief Executive Officer

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert
July 7, 2017 — Building Educated Leaders for Life, a national nonprofit based in Boston that provides out-of-school time learning programs to help close the achievement gap for children in underserved communities, last week announced that Lauren Sanchez Gilbert has been named chief executive officer of the organization.

Gilbert succeeds Tiffany Gueye, who stepped down after serving with Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL) for 18 years. Gueye will remain engaged as a director on its national governing board.

Gilbert has been with BELL since 2011, most recently serving as president and chief strategy officer.

“Lauren quickly emerged as a BELL leader because of her ability to generate a vision for how deep and broad our impact could be,” said Laurene Sperling, chair of BELL’s board of directors. “She has a genuine passion for transforming the lives of scholars, and for finding unique ways to enable the adults in their lives to continue to empower them on their educational journey.”

Gilbert will oversee the deployment of BELL’s new partnership model, which seeks to strengthen the capacity of school districts and national nonprofits to deliver high-quality, measurable and sustainable academic and enrichment programs on a larger scale. BELL also plans to expand its research into existing afterschool and summer learning programs to identify, evaluate, and share proven practices with partners.

Gilbert previously was a special education teacher in her native New Mexico and an assistant superintendent in Massachusetts. She attended the nonprofit leadership program at Harvard University, and was recently named a Results for America fellow. She holds a bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of New Mexico, and a doctorate in education from Boston College.

According to 2016 survey results, 92% of participating teachers say BELL helped them develop professional skills and half say they implement what they learned from BELL into their classrooms during the school year. Parents become more engaged as well, with 89% of those surveyed saying BELL programs made them more involved in their child’s education.

“Students become scholars, which in turn, make them better peers, and classrooms more dynamic,” she says. “BELL not only exposes students to an experiential learning experience; it exposes teachers to an experiential teaching experience. Teachers are change catalysts. We are seeing them translate BELL instructional strategies back into their classrooms during the regular school year, which in turn, make schools more successful.”

She noted that “Summer slide is a national crisis that impacts academics and economics. After all, we have a shortage of qualified adults who can contribute to the economy, and it’s largely due to educational inequity. No single organization can meet this challenge alone.”

Founded in 1992, BELL partners with school districts and national non-profits, including the YMCA of the USA, to serve 14,500 students annually across the country. Delivering its services in small group settings, BELL blends rigorous literacy and math instruction with mentorship, hands-on enrichment activities, field trips, and community engagement.