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Learn about BellXcel’s vision for all children to excel through reaching more young people where they are, through the adults they know, and with experienced strategies that work.

A clear vision coupled with deep field experience and expertise are two of the most important ingredients of a successful organization. And these are found at the core of BellXcel. For 30 years, BellXcel’s vision for all children to excel has fueled its pursuit of evidence, access and equity. Today, they know what works, and they have the data to back it up.

Drawing upon a range of past roles — YMCA director of youth programming and special education teacher to assistant superintendent for a large school district — Dr. Lauren Sanchez Gilbert, the CEO of BellXcel, understands what keeps youth leaders, educators and school administrators up at night because she has walked in their shoes.

BellXcel's Vision

With extensive experience, Dr. Lauren Sanchez Gilbert is uniquely qualified to lead innovations in proven educational solutions.

“Successful, high-quality youth programs integrate both strong business management and programming expertise together to achieve a desired impact,” said Sanchez Gilbert. “We could not find a solution that combined all the proven necessary ingredients, so we built it ourselves.”

While there is no shortage of products and solutions available for youth programs, BellXcel addresses fragmented pieces of the end-to-end needs of youth programming providers. They know most programs are using a blend of technology solutions, along with spreadsheets, notebooks and clipboards, as they had also done previously.

“We knew we needed to do something different that would bring it all together,” said Sanchez Gilbert. “We dug into the research and began to grow our team with experts who could bring this vision to life. We recognized by stepping outside of the direct experience ourselves — and instead partnering with youth programs that know their unique community needs best — we can scale and serve programs of all sizes from coast to coast in pursuit of our desired impact for all children to have the opportunity to excel.”

What are the Ingredients?

BellXcel unites all the ingredients for youth-serving organizations to design, manage and assess all of their high-quality programs through one powerful easy-to-use online platform, thereby equipping partners with a single, comprehensive solution that drives dynamic, evidence-based program management, implementation and impact. BellXcel then pairs that technology with personalized coaching and support every step of the way to meet partners where they are for successful and affordable implementation and management.

Specifically, some of the youth-serving ingredients include:

  • Program planning.
  • Staff, administrator and teacher professional development.
  • Participant management.
  • Impact surveys and reports. 
  • Quality assessment.
  • Instructional strategies and much more.

“Our partners can select to implement our BellXcel explorers curriculum — encompassing social emotional learning, enrichment and physical fitness activities — or have the freedom to use their own programming or content,” explained Sanchez Gilbert. “Program leaders, teachers and staff have access to a robust library of self-paced online professional development paired with supporting resources.”

What’s Next?

The COVID-19 pandemic illuminated more than ever that to create successful adults with opportunities for upward economic mobility and success, they need to have a pipeline of strong activities throughout their youth trajectory. Sanchez Gilbert noted the assumption that the school day alone provides youth with enough is finally starting to be more widely acknowledged as false.

“This matters so much as it is a real point of inequity,” said Sanchez Gilbert. “YMCA, parks and recreation, and faith-based youth programs are vital to their community’s ability to close the opportunity gap as providers of high-quality learning experiences.”

BellXcel's Vision

This past summer, BellXcel-powered programs served more than double the number of children — in communities nationwide — than ever before in its history.

BellXcel-powered programs expand scholars’ academic and social emotional skills, provide opportunities for experiential learning, and increase self-confidence and growth mindset to close this opportunity gap.

“Our team is driven by the realization that our new platform makes the delivery of our partner’s youth programs more efficient, streamlined, measurable and therefore sustainable,” said Sanchez Gilbert. “As we see the outcomes our partners are achieving and the strides they’re making toward equalizing the playing field within their communities, our commitment to continued innovation only grows.” 

With quality infused from end-to-end, BellXcel can help youth organizations elevate their brand and create strong connections with local schools and other organizations in their community by proving high-value, know-how and strong voice through measured outcomes and data.

“We believe it should not be an ugly secret to talk about the bottom line,” added Sanchez Gilbert. “This is a unique, heart-fueled business driven to create high quality, sustainable and measurable programs that lead to increased membership and participation, all in pursuit of the desired impact — transforming the life trajectories of children, particularly those in under-resourced communities. Our ‘why’ is in the outcomes data, in the success of our partners and in the very real impact to communities.”

In the spring of 2022, BellXcel will be rolling out expanded features including online registration and enrollment, a family portal, participant recruitment resources, and a host of expanded professional learning and resources. Visit bellxcel.org/tellmemore to sign up to be the first to know about these new features and those that follow.

Photos courtesy of BellXcel. 

Brittany Howard

Brittany is the editor of Community Rec Magazine. Reach her at brittany@peakemedia.com.

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