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"In working with the Gates Foundation, Chris was sensitive to our organizational interests while constantly seeking opportunities to make connections and strengthen the work of our philanthropic partners and grantees. Best of all, you can count on her to be straight with you. She’ll never waste your time telling you things that she thinks you want to hear."

Jim Shelton



The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Firmly committed to high school reform, the Gates Foundation asked MetisNet to help expand its strategy to encompass the 30% of young Americans who do not end up getting their diplomas. Gates' education program director, aware of Chris Sturgis’ national reputation as an expert on youth issues, determined that she was a natural partner for such an endeavor.

Chris' ongoing research has shown that high school reform must affect not just those students who are in school, but also those high-school-aged youth who are struggling and whose educations have been interrupted. She deployed her expansive cross-sector network of experts in the fields of juvenile justice, workforce development and community organizing to help develop an effective strategy with which the Gates Foundation could focus its efforts.

In addition, Chris demonstrated the value of experiential learning to Gates' program officers, guiding them through site visits and helping them integrate alternative pathways into their high school reform strategies.

Review a paper on the subject written by C. Sturgis (MetisNet) and J.D. Hoye (Keep the Change):