Betting on the Workforce: An Interview With the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation




youth development, workforce, capacity building, adult practice, grantmaking


In this article, Deborah Moroney and Jill Young from the American Institutes for Research interview Rebecca Goldberg and Alex Hooker, senior program officers from the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Rebecca and Alex describe their experience as members of the youth development workforce and how that experience inspired them to support the youth development workforce on the grantmaking side, focusing on adult practice and youth character development. As the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation sunsets in 2020, Rebecca and Alex also share their hopes for the youth development workforce going forward.

Author Biography

Jill Young, American Institutes for Research

Jill Young has over 10 years of experience in nonprofit research and evaluation. She is currently the Senior Director of Research and Evaluation at After School Matters in Chicago, Illinois, where she leads research and evaluation efforts for 25,000 after-school and summer program opportunities for teens each year. Previous to After School Matters, Ms. Young worked as a statistical analyst at University of Chicago and as a research manager at Northwestern University. She graduated from Drake University with honors, earning her BA in journalism and mass communication. She earned her MA and PhD in research methodology from Loyola University Chicago, where she is also part-time faculty.


American Institutes for Research. (2019). The Science of learning and development in afterschool systems and settings.

Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development. (2019). From a nation at risk to a nation at hope.

Berry, B., Johnson, D., & Montgomery, D. (2005). The power of teacher leadership. Educational Leadership, 62(5), 56-60. ASCD.

Bocarro, J. N., & Witt, P. A. (2018). The power of people: The importance of relationship-based programming. In P. A. Witt & L. L. Caldwell (Eds.), Youth development: Principles and practices in out-of-school time settings (2nd ed.) (pp. 389-404). Urbana, IL: Sagamore-Venture.

Borden, L. M., & Perkins, D. F. (2006). Community youth development professionals: Providing the necessary supports in the United States. Child & Youth Care Forum, 35(2), pp. 101-158.

Caldwell, L. I., & Witt, P. A. (2018). Ten principles of youth development. In P. A. Witt & L. L. Caldwell (Eds.), Youth development: Principles and practices in out-of-school time settings (2nd ed.) (pp. 1-26). Urbana, IL: Sagamore-Venture.

Darling-Hammond, L., & Cook-Harvey, C. (2018). Educating the whole child: Improving school climate to support student success.

Darling-Hammond, L., Flook, L., Cook-Harvey, C., Barron, B., & Osher, D. 2019. Implications for educational practice of the science of learning and development. Applied Developmental Science,

Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82(1), 405-432.

Fontaine, M. & Millen, D. (2004). Chapter I Understanding the Benefits and Impact of Communities of Practice.

Louis, K. S., & Marks, H. M. (1998). Does professional learning community affect the classroom? Teachers’ work and student experiences in restructuring schools. American Journal of Education, 106(4), 532-575.

Moroney, D. A., & Devaney, E. (2017). Ready to implement? How the out-of-school time workforce can support character development through social and emotional learning: A Review of the literature and future directions. Journal of Character Education, 13(1), 67-89.

Moroney, D., Newman, J., & Osher, D. (2018). Out-of-school-time programs. In D. Osher, D. Moroney, & S. Williamson (Eds.), Creating safe, equitable, engaging schools: A comprehensive, evidence-based approach to supporting students (pp. 121-134). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2019). Shaping summertime experiences: Opportunities to promote healthy development and well-being for children and youth. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Phillips, J. (2003). Powerful learning: Creating learning communities in urban school reform. Journal of Curriculum and Supervision, 18(3), 240-258.

Science of Learning and Development Alliance. (2019). How the science of learning and development can transform education: Initial findings.

Spielberger, J., Axelrod, J., Dasgupta, D., Cerven, C., Spain, A., Kohm, A., & Mader, N. (2016). Connecting the dots: Data use in afterschool systems. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.

Vandell, D. L., Larson, R. W., Mahoney, J. L., & Watts, T. W. (2015). Children’s organized activities. In M. H. Bornstein, T. Leventhal, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology and developmental science: Ecological settings and processes in developmental systems (pp. 305-344). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Vescio, V., Ross, D., & Adams, A. (2008). A review of research on the impact of professional learning communities on teaching practices and student learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(1), pp. 80-91.

Whole Child Education. (2015). The whole child approach to education.

Yohalem, N., Devaney, E., Smith, C., & Wilson-Ahlstrom, A. (2012). Building citywide systems for quality: A guide for afterschool leaders. Washington, DC: The Forum for Youth Investment.