PRESS RELEASE: Outward Bound USA receives $5 million from The S.D Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to launch the Outward Bound Professional Learning Lab

Golden, Colorado, June 30, 2017 – Outward Bound USA is pleased to announce the launch of the
Outward Bound Professional Learning Lab, made possible through the generous support of The S.D.
Bechtel Jr. Foundation (the ‘Foundation’). The Foundation invests in youth-serving organizations to
identify promising adult practices that build youth character and help translate this knowledge into
training and professional development for adult staff and volunteers.

The Outward Bound Professional Learning Lab (the ‘Lab’) will identify research-based best practices for
character development and translate them into professional learning for all Outward Bound Instructors.
The ‘Lab’ will engage the most experienced program staff from the national network of regional
Outward Bound Schools and partner with leading national research and curriculum specialists.

The Foundation’s support of Outward Bound reflects its commitment to recognizing lasting education
solutions and its belief that Outward Bound, a national leader in youth education, shares its goals and
commitment to provide character education opportunities for students from all walks of life and

“Outward Bound is poised to deepen its impact with students while supporting the Foundation’s goal of
advancing the field of youth character education” said Arthur Pearson, CEO of Thompson Island
Outward Bound, who will serve as Director of the ‘Lab’ while continuing his duties as CEO of Thompson
Island. “Outward Bound’s educational process is centered on the belief that education for youth should
place equal emphasis on the development of the intellect and development of character.

The ‘Lab’ will establish processes to measure both student outcomes and instructional quality across a
broad range of Outward Bound programs, assess their impact, and incorporate their results into
industry-leading professional learning curricula. The work will be designed to be adaptable to a range of
program delivery environments.

“The Foundation’s support has had a profound impact on our organization,” said Peter Steinhauser,
Executive Director of OBUSA. He added, “We are humbled and grateful for their generosity. Outward
Bound is committed to supporting our instructional staff by further professionalizing the approach to
character education, to which they have dedicated their careers.”


About Outward Bound USA
Outward Bound, founded in 1941 by educator Kurt Hahn, is a nonprofit educational organization
serving people of all ages and backgrounds through challenging learning expeditions focused on
character development, leadership, and service. As the pioneer and leading provider of experiential and
outdoor education in the United States, Outward Bound offers over 1,000 courses throughout the year
across the country. Outward Bound serves 40,000 students annually and has a nationwide community
of more than 1 million supporters and alumni.

In the U.S., Outward Bound is a national network of regional schools dedicated to helping individuals
learn through challenging experiences so they may grow as individuals and become active in the
communities where they live and work. With expeditions in remote wilderness settings, in close
proximity to bustling urban communities and in classrooms, Outward Bound serves a diverse
population of students while delivering courses with consistently high standards of quality, safety, and

About The S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation
The S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation and the Stephen Bechtel Fund envision a productive, vibrant, and
sustainable country that is a model of success and a source of innovation. The Foundation hopes to
foster the development of models that can become the standard practices of tomorrow – providing
support for inspiring projects, enduring partnerships, and high-quality organizations well after the
Foundation sunsets in 2020.


Jeffrey Greggs, on behalf of Outward Bound USA