Lauren Sanchez Gilbert, Ed.D.: A Trailblazing Force in EdTech Leadership

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert, Ed.D.: A Trailblazing Force in EdTech Leadership
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The landscape of education is continually evolving, and at its forefront is Lauren Sanchez Gilbert, Ed.D. As the CEO of the nationally acclaimed nonprofit BellXcel, Lauren is a visionary edtech leader. Her work is dedicated to enriching the lives of children beyond the confines of conventional school hours, and her extensive background positions her as a trailblazer in the education technology sector.

At the foundation of Lauren’s work is research, bolstered by partnership studies conducted by reputable institutions such as the American Institutes for Research and RAND. These studies unequivocally establish that a child’s involvement in extracurricular activities results in higher grade point averages, enhanced self-esteem, improved social skills, and sound decision-making abilities. Her journey through various roles within the youth sector motivates and equips her to help children from all backgrounds, including underserved communities, reach their potential.

Lauren earned her doctorate in education from Boston College and her bachelor’s degree in special education from the University of New Mexico. Her educational journey also includes participation in the highly selective nonprofit leadership program at Harvard University. Additionally, she is recognized as a Results for America Nonprofit Fellow. Her commitment extends to board service, creating systemic social change with her role on the Bridgespan Group’s Knowledge Advisory Board and Roca’s Board of Directors.

Lauren’s journey as a female Hispanic leader in edtech has been challenging. However, her unwavering commitment to her vision was instrumental in overcoming obstacles. She successfully navigated hurdles requiring her to work harder to dispel misconceptions and gain recognition for fresh ideas that challenge the status quo.

The CEO successfully led a substantial transformation within BellXcel. The organization strategically decided to discontinue its direct service line of business, which constituted 65% of its revenue. Under Lauren’s leadership, this strategic movie was guided by a deep commitment to empower professionals in the youth sector to serve their communities better. Leading the organization through this critical shift demanded substantial confidence and transparency.

Lauren’s leadership style emphasizes diversity and inclusion. She remains determined to find innovative approaches to engage her team and ensure their voices are heard. By personally meeting with every new employee, she underscores the importance of workplace culture and crafting an invaluable sense of belonging. Fostering connections has never been more critical, with the organization boasting nearly 100 employees in remote roles and almost 50% team growth in the past year.

The COVID-19 pandemic immensely impacted the education system. Shifting the way the world operates in 2020, the pandemic resulted in significant learning loss among children, erasing decades of progress, particularly in math and reading. Lauren’s role at BellXcel is pivotal in addressing this issue. Research has shown that enrolling children in out-of-school and summer activities can efficiently help them with their social development and education.

Lauren Sanchez Gilbert, Ed.D., continues to change lives with her work as the CEO of BellXcel. Making a significant impact in edtech and children’s growth, Lauren has exhibited an ability to lead transformative initiatives, setting her apart as a prominent figure in the field.


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