Our Mission

To ensure that all young people learn the communication, decision making, and goal setting skills they need to be successful in life.

We believe it's up to all of us to give our children a life skills education.

So in 1992, we began by creating a research-based life skills curriculum for middle and high schools. Over the years, the curriculum has been updated for relevancy and technology advances.

Today, the curriculum is free to every teacher worldwide and available in PDF versions and apps for iPads and Android tablets. Ongoing support - from implementation and coaching support to pacing plans and standards alignment insight - is also available at no cost.

And we’re just getting started.

Now, Overcoming Obstacles is the most widely implemented approach to life skills instruction. Through its lessons, children in 50 states and more than 90 countries are helping build a new generation of people that makes informed, thoughtful decisions. People who are more compassionate. Who are more accountable for their words and actions. Who make the world better for all who follow.

Our Founding

Our founder, Jill Siegal Chalsty, was a victim of bullying throughout middle school and high school, and it left emotional scars that took years to heal. As an adult, she encountered the classmate who had bullied her years before. Apologetic for the pain she caused, the classmate shared with Jill that she was now teaching life skills to at-risk adolescents, who, like her, lacked the behavioral and societal skills needed to face daily challenges.

Inspired, Jill embarked on a yearlong research project to identify the role of life skills in education. She discovered that the skills essential to young people’s success weren’t being taught in the classroom. So, she set out on a mission to bring life skills instruction to every child in every classroom across the U.S. and around the world.

Jill’s mission led to the creation of the Community for Education Foundation in 1992. Together, with a team of leading educators and national thought-leaders, the Community for Education Foundation developed the Overcoming Obstacles Life Skills Education program, which provides educators with the tools to teach the skills critical to academic and social success —relevant skills including the three foundational skills of communication, decision making, and goal setting, in addition to problem solving, conflict resolution, teamwork, time management, study skills, and more.

Community for Education Foundation is committed to bringing life skills instruction through Overcoming Obstacles to all students. Because of this, it provides its program to all educators worldwide, free of charge.

Today, the Overcoming Obstacles curriculum is used in classrooms in all 50 states and over 90 countries, positively impacting the lives of more than twelve million children – and counting.

Leadership Team

SUSAN DAWSON

Chief Executive Officer

877.840.9606 ext. 133 | Email
International: +01.212.406.7488 ext. 133

VINNY CAPONE

Managing Director

877.840.9606 ext. 132 | Email
International: +01.212.406.7488 ext. 132

HEATHER PERKINS

Program Manager

877.840.9606 ext. 134 | Email
International: +01.212.406.7488 ext. 134

PAIGE COLE

Education Manager

877.840.9606 ext. 135 | Email
International: +01.212.406.7488 ext. 135

Board of Directors

SANDY BROSSARD

Director of Assessment, Accountability and School Improvement, Berkeley County School District

JAMES E. BUCKMAN

Vice Chairman (Retired), York Capital Management

JILL SIEGAL CHALSTY

Founder and Chairman, Community for Education Foundation

JOHN S. CHALSTY

Chairman and CEO (Retired), Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette

SUSAN DAWSON

Chief Executive Officer, Community for Education Foundation

MICHAEL D. GELFAND

President, Terra Vista Management, Inc.

VERONE KENNEDY

Executive Director of the Office of Charter School Authorization and Accountability, NYC Department of Education

GEOFFREY STERN

President, Muirfield Capital Management, LLC

STUART SUBOTNICK

President & CEO, Metromedia Company

Directors Emeriti

HELENE M. FREEMAN, Esq.

Partner, Phillips Nizer LLP

JOHN F. MOORE

First Vice President (Retired), Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

TANI R. WELSH

Manager, Educational Services (Retired), Edison International

Educational Advisory Council

SANDY BROSSARD

Director of Assessment, Accountability and School Improvement, Berkeley County School District

DAVID HURST, Ed.D.

Deputy Chief, Accreditation Officer, AdvancED

SARAH JONAS

Deputy Executive Director, Office of Community Schools, NYC Department of Education

VERONE KENNEDY

Executive Director of the Office of Charter School Authorization and Accountability, NYC Department of Education

CATHY MARINO

Early Childhood Educator (Retired)

LYNN NULL, Ed.D.

FCS Extension Educator/4-H Youth Development, Oklahoma State University

PETER REED

Associate Director of Program Services (Retired), National Association of Secondary School Principals

VALERIE ROWE, Ph.D.

Clinical Associate Professor (Retired), Fordham University

AINSLEY RUDOLFO

Executive Director for Programs and Partnerships, New York City Department of Education

GARY WRINKLE, Ed.D.

Lead School Improvement Consultant, Southern Regional Education Board

Board of Advisors

JAMES G. DINAN

Founder, Chairman & CEO, York Capital Management

JOHN S. DYSON

Chairman, Millbrook Capital Management, Inc.

RICK FOLBAUM

News Anchor, CBS Miami

SUSAN H. FUHRMAN, Ph.D.

President, Teachers College, Columbia University

CATHERINE R. KINNEY

President & COO (Retired), NYSE Euronext

RICHARD W. RILEY

United States Secretary of Education, 1993 - 2001

JOHN W. ROWE, MD

Professor of Health Policy and Management, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health

FREE FOREVER

Start changing your students’ lives today. Join the 40,000 educators who have already taught over​ 12 million young people life skills. Sign up now to download our curriculum.

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