The Center for Expanding Leadership & Opportunity

Empowering people where they are so they can make a difference wherever they go.

Research demonstrates that high-impact youth development opportunities can change the trajectory of a young person’s life. The Center for Expanding Leadership & Opportunity (CELO) is a nonprofit committed to a world where high-quality youth development opportunities are distributed as equally as the abundance of talent in our communities. Emerging from nearly two decades of groundbreaking research and incubated at The Aspen Institute, CELO bridges the gap between academia and practice to accelerate youth development and deliver on the promise of greater impact.

“We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

The quality of existing research, training tools, and programs exacerbate social inequality. Research confirms that developmental experiences such as leadership education, secondary education, post-secondary education, STEM education, and community service are powerful interventions – building skills, socio-emotional competencies, and mindsets that empower youth to access opportunities and drive change for themselves and their communities.

CELO is anchored in a unique approach to human development and system change that operates at four levels simultaneously ensuring local youth and stakeholders are positioned to develop, own, and drive impact. At the core of the CELO strategy is the creation and cultivation of opportunity ecosystems designed to engage, support, and resource communities of practice committed to youth development.

Learn more about our work here.