Joe Cavanaugh '81
Joe Cavanaugh is a nationally known advocate promoting timeless values and personal character to audiences of all ages. With over 25 years of experience working with young people, he is one of the foremost communicators to youth on the topics of respect, integrity, courage and compassion. In 1987, Joe founded Youth Frontiers, Inc., a Minnesota-based nonprofit organization that partners with schools across the country to create more positive school communities. Through programs that help young people realize the importance of living a life of character, Youth Frontiers is transforming the day-to-day experience in schools across America so that our schools - and therefore our kids - can thrive. Last year Youth Frontiers delivered 664 retreats in 15 states and added school outreach workers based in Denver, Phoenix and Omaha. Youth Frontiers' work has impacted nearly one million students and educators and has received national acclaim by providing powerful retreats with the vision of changing the way young people treat each other in every hallway, lunch line, and classroom of every school in America so that today's young people can make tomorrow's world better.
Joe has been the subject of countless newspaper articles as well as radio and television interviews including "The Osgood Report" on CBS radio and a 90-minute PBS television special titled Respectfully, Joe Cavanaugh. He has been recognized by General Colin Powell of America's Promise as being a leader in our nation's effort to rescue America's young people. Prior to starting Youth Frontiers, Joe was the Youth Minister at Lady of Grace Church in Edina. He currently serves on boards and committees for St. John's University and Catholic Charities of St. Paul & Minneapolis. Joe and his wife, Jane Leyden-Cavanaugh, have a 4 year old daughter, Tess.