In December 2020, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation concluded operations. Founded in 1957, the Foundation was committed to building a productive, vibrant, and sustainable California. In 2009, the Foundation decided to invest all of its assets, or spend down, by 2020 in order to spur significant progress on the challenging issues facing the state in education and environment. This collection features knowledge produced by the Foundation and its partners during its final decade of work. Read concluding reflections from the Foundation's president and learn more about its grantmaking.

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S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation National Character Initiative Retrospective Final Report

December 22, 2020

Starting in 2019, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) partnered with the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, to capture grantees' experiences with the National Character Initiative. Specifically, through interviews and surveys, AIR aimed to describe grantees' experiences implementing the grants and participating in the supports that were provided by the Foundation and expert consultants. Findings from the retrospective may be useful to other foundations as they decide how to fund and support youth-serving organizations.


Thriving, Robust Equity, and Transformative Learning & Development: A More Powerful Conceptualization of the Contributors to Youth Success

July 1, 2020

This new conceptualization of youth success draws from more than 180 sources and makes an argument for new definitions to propel practice and policy that addresses educational and racial equity. The paper:Introduces a formula and a rationale for addressing thriving, equity, and learning and development together that helps us better focus on actionable social factors;Summarizes prevailing definitions of thriving, equity, and learning and development (and related terms);Takes a deeper dive into the dimensions that contribute to individual and collective thriving;Offers powerful and aligned conceptualizations of thriving, equity, and learning and development;Describes the opportunities and conditions required to ensure that efforts to create "equitable educational outcomes" or "equitable learning and development opportunities" are as powerful and inclusive as possible.


About this collection:   Presidents reflections | Intellectual property