MEET BELLXCEL

Transformation, not profit

For 30 years, BellXcel’s vision for all children to excel has fueled our pursuit of evidence, access, and equity. Proven science and practices on the ingredients that drive high-quality outcomes empower our youth development and school partners to reach more scholars and transform their lives, anywhere, anytime, any way.

Our Impact

Education is in Our DNA

Our team of educators, researchers, and innovators is led by an expert in youth development and education.

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert, Ed.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Lauren’s education roots run deep. With extensive experience across the sector, Lauren is uniquely qualified to lead BellXcel’s innovations in proven educational solutions. In addition to the BellXcel leadership roles she’s held during her 10-year tenure, Lauren draws upon a range of past roles from YMCA director of youth programming to special education teacher in her native New Mexico to assistant superintendent for a large school district in Massachusetts. 

Lauren knows what keeps youth leaders, educators, and school administrators up at night because she has walked in their shoes. Her deeply held belief to reach more young people where they are, through the adults they know, with strategies that work fuels BellXcel’s partnership with leaders serving children, families, and communities nationwide. 

Her commitment to build the sector’s capacity by turning evidence into action inspired BellXcel’s independent affiliate, the Sperling Center for Research and Innovation (SCRI). SCRI bridges the research to practice to policy gap, continuously bringing new research and practical insights to elevate the quality and impact of youth organizations and schools.

Lauren holds a Doctorate in Education from Boston College and a Bachelor Degree in Special Education from the University of New Mexico. She attended the highly-selective nonprofit leadership program at Harvard University and is a Results for America Nonprofit Fellow.

Her Board service includes the Bridgespan Group’s Knowledge Advisory Board focused on accelerating impact in the social sector, as well as, Roca’s Board of Directors focused on engaging young adults to create systemic change in urban environments.

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Guided by Prominent Leaders

BellXcel’s Board of Directors guide the organization to achieve its strategic objectives. This prominent group of leaders brings valuable expertise in business, education, technology, and more.

Executive Director, Samberg Family Foundation
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs & Co
Executive Advisor, Thomas H. Lee Partners
Managing Partner, Bulger Capital
Chief Investment Officer, Spencer Foundation
Managing Director, Crosspoint Capital Partners
Partner, Forensic & Integrity Services, Ernst & Young LLP (EY)
Owner, AK Consulting
Office Managing Partner, Ernst & Young LLP (EY) - Retired
Francis Keppel Professor, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Deputy Chancellor, University of Massachusetts, Boston
General Partner, Norwest Venture Partners

Rooted in Social Justice

Our legacy of social justice through education is built upon pioneers in education. Leaders like Derrick Bell, the first tenured African-American Professor at Harvard Law School; Charles Ogletree, founder of The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice and Chair Emeritus at Harvard Law School; and Dr. Robert Peterkin, Professor Emeritus at Harvard Graduate School of Education and Director of the Urban Superintendents Program.

Validated by Research and Evidence

BellXcel works with expert research partners to measure and validate the impact of our solutions.

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Our research affiliate independently analyzes the efficacy of BellXcel’s solutions – compiling powerful scientific evidence from our partners’ programs. Additionally, SCRI’s range of consulting services delivers on our goal to build capacity across the sector.

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The Power of Partnership

We know our strengths. We also know that the scale of our impact relies on partnering with the best and brightest at what they do, where they live

From national organizations, such as YMCAs and Boys & Girls Clubs, to schools and local program providers – our partners brilliantly deliver quality youth development opportunities across a diversity of communities. 

Their success is our success – now that is the power of partnership.

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Built on Decades of Innovation

In many ways, BellXcel considers itself a 30-year start-up. As crazy as that sounds, every day we are breaking traditions and challenging assumptions to ensure that our partners have the most innovative solutions at their fingertips. We are curious, brave, and fueled by an all children to excel mission.

Innovation Story