By Joe Deitch, BLS '68, Founder
The original vision was to create a platform and curriculum to 'teach' leadership skills to the students of this amazing institution. I had been incredibly fortunate to go to Latin and was enormously enriched by the experience. Now it was time to give back.
By helping the students understand the mechanics of leadership, and the enormous power of combining their purpose and passion, I felt that we could expand both their horizons and their influence. And my own.
I also believed that other alumni and stakeholders would see the tantalizing opportunity here and decide to participate in mentoring, employing, funding and being a resource in any number of ways. It would be a huge win-win for all involved.
After years of planning, and with the tremendous support and encouragement of then Headmaster, Dr. Lynne Mooney Teta, as well as the head of the BLS alumni association, Peter Kelly, the Deitch Leadership Institute (DLI) opened its doors in February of 2012. Our first full time Director was Ron Gwiazda, who had also served as an invaluable consultant along the way. At the end of 2013, Jim Levesque took over the directorship and is continuing to grow and improve the DLI in new and exciting ways.
Along the path, the original core vision of classroom study changed dramatically. To their credit, the BLS students were already overbooked. What they now needed were tools and tactics to hone their talents and increase their impact. And that’s exactly what we have done! With grants and fellowships, tutorials, networking and more, we have created a dynamic 'Leadership Lab' – at school, at home and in the community.