Creating Social Value Blog / Social Innovation

The Power of Language

By Katie Rosario, Assistant Director of Youth Programs at The Lewis Institute.

Six months ago, I didn’t even know how to spell entrepreneurship, much less interface with it daily. I started my position at The Lewis Institute as the Assistant Director of Youth Programs at the start of our busiest time of the year and was told many times that I would have to jump in with both feet and hit the ground running. Nothing could have been closer to the truth.

With the summer coming to a close and students arriving back on campus, it has been great to have some time to reflect on the eventful summer and what I have gained so far as part of the Babson and Lewis Institute teams. As we’ve been creating, adapting, and growing our programs, here are some words and phrases that have garnered new meaning for me this summer:


The value of relationships is one of the biggest pieces that attracted me to The Lewis Institute. Personal relationships are something that I strive to have with everyone I meet and it is clear that every person here feels the same. From welcoming me to meeting with strangers who walk in the door to reconnecting with colleagues after 15 years, I have seen brilliant examples of the value of relationships in action at The Lewis Institute.


This is a favorite word of one of my colleagues. She uses it not only to describe the hearty offerings of activities for Summer Study students, but it can also be used to describe the amount and variety of food that we at The Lewis Institute like to eat.

“Building the plane as we fly it”

This idea terrified me a few months ago. How can it not crash? Now, I see no other way to get things done. Developing projects, whether it be curriculum, activities, or staffing, on the fly allows for innovation, collaboration, and pivots more than any well-thought-out plan could ever do. Working together as a team to build as we go allows for amazingly “robust” offerings.


Along with relationships, I have truly seen the value of partnerships. I was fortunate to spend five weeks at a program created in conjunction with the Verizon Foundation and Sociedad Latina, The Verizon Innovative Learning Experience at Babson College. To make this program successful, everyone at The Lewis Institute reached out to community connections for resources, guest speakers, and knowledge and it was amazing to see the enthusiasm and dedication of each person they contacted.


This is not a buzz word that The Lewis Institute uses too often, but maybe we should. This summer, I was witness to 25 Boston Public School students going from barely being confident enough to say their names in English to delivering an entire pitch to business professionals. I experienced my colleagues working all hours of the day and night to create “robust” programming and activities for 108 international high school students who were living on campus. I saw powerful ideas coming together to truly do something that matters in so many different ways.

As we are ramping up for the next year, I am excited to continue to be witness to such tenacity, empowering partnerships, and creative collaborations. I hope you are too!