YMCA of the USA Establishes Character Development Learning Institute

Effort aims to discover, test and disseminate best practices to positively impact millions of youth through a deepened focus on character development

CHICAGO, July 22, 2016 – Today YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) announced the establishment of the Character Development Learning Institute (CDLI), made possible by the generous support of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation through a four year, $20 million grant. The CDLI will advance the Y’s character development efforts across its youth programs through a collaborative and deliberate process of verifying, adapting, scaling and sharing evidence-based best practices.

“We are both humbled and overjoyed by the generosity of the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, and are determined to make the CDLI a world-class incubator for best practices in character development,” said Bela Moté, VP of Evidence-Based Youth Development Interventions and National Director of Character Development, YMCA of the USA. “The CDLI defines youth character development as the process through which youth develop and integrate a set of values, skills, attitudes and behaviors that allow them to navigate successfully and responsibly in learning, work and life. We’re excited to begin our work to make this a reality and engender a lifetime of personal and professional growth for the millions of youth and adults we serve.”

The Foundation’s grant will help to support the CDLI’s initial four-year launch phase, creating a comprehensive framework upon which to build an enduring institute and reinforce the organization’s 170 year history of supporting the development of people from birth though career and beyond. 

The CDLI will provide the training, tools and knowledge necessary to equip adult practitioners to implement character development practices that can lead youth to make positive gains in school and life. Establishment of the CDLI commences immediately.  

About the Y

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 22 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net


Kevin Dietz , YMCA of the USA, 312-419-8418, media@YMCA.NET Opens a new window

Friday, July 22, 2016

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