About Us

Founded in 1987 by Rich and Yvonne St. John-Dutra, Challenge Day started as a Bay Area organization. Now Challenge Day serves over 49 U.S. states, Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands, Challenge Day is on a mission to create a world where every person in our communities feels safe, loved and celebrated.

Challenge Day is a nonprofit organization committed to building empathy and compassion in our communities. We help youth and adults unlearn harmful habits, experience vulnerability as a pillar to restore strength, and enable them to experience the freedom of full expression through the lens of compassion, connection, and diversity. In the past 5 years we have supported 300,000 students and 60,000 adults directly.


Notice your emotions, surroundings, and the
people around you


Choose how you will spend your energy


Move forward together

The Gap

Most students and adults have spent their formal education learning outside the realm of our feelings, something we experience every second of our lives. During these unprecedented times, CDC reports onethird of adolescents, two-thirds18-24-year old, and one-third are experiencing high rates of depression anxiety and suicide thoughts. For many, this heightened level of stress will lead to potentially harmful long-term consequences.

The Solution

Through the lens of social and emotional learning, Challenge Day provides youth and adults with opportunities to be fully expressive, build long-lasting relationships, and gain tools that anchor their resiliency and freedom for optimal life. Our program helps to bridge gaps and opens the door to possibility during considerable uncertainty.

The Process

At the core of our work is the practice of vulnerability as a safe container and community builder. By “getting real” and practicing active listening, participants learn empathy and compassion; thus, restoring their strength and provide them with tools necessary to reach their optimal life.

Our Partners

Smithtown Central School District, New York
Newark Board of Education, New Jersey
Atlantic Health System, New Jersey
Altitude, New Jersey
Butte County Office of Education, California
Alliance Public Schools, California
United Way of Whitewater Valley, New Jersey
Deloitte, New York
US Air Force Academy, Colorado
Pacific Ridge School, California
BOCES of New York State, New York
Quest Diagnostics, New York

United Way, South Dakota
Martin Luther King Diversity Committee, Michigan
Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Florida
San Francisco Unified School District, California
Leadership Public Schools, California
American Indian Resource Center, Oklahoma
Menlo-Atherton High School, California
Los Altos High School, California
Challenge Denver, Colorado
Denver Public Schools, Colorado

Challenge Day Works All Over the World

Become a Partner

Contact us for information about becoming a partner.