"When One Door Closes"

In August 2019, four summit directors and one faculty advisor jumpstarted BLISS, The Black Link of Independent Schools Summit. As a team, we worked over several months in classrooms, over lunch tables, and through FaceTime to bring this initiative to life. Most of our tasks lied within the BLISSummit, where we assembled a team of adults and students to provide with us the necessary means to host the inaugural region-wide conference. Those months proved to be challenging, as we found ourselves taking on unforeseen responsibilities in a pressured timespan. Between competing visions, extracurriculars, schoolwork, and the time-consuming practice of writing emails, we were ultimately humbled - it was a space that required us to employ our best creativity possible. While it was difficult, there was always one question that pointed us in the right direction: "If we were to host the conference today, would we have any regrets and why?"

That question seemed to lose its basis. In April 2020, the inaugural BLISSummit was postponed due to a factor that affected the world at large: COVID-19. Although we were disappointed in what seemed like a loss of our efforts, this was an opportunity to build upon what we already created. While we were all at home, time became more abundant, and we gained a sense of reassurance in knowing that the world was going through the exact same thing we were. The question became: "When we hold the conference a year from now, what will we do better?" Establishing a social media presence and communicating with schools all across the country, we expanded the horizon of BLISS exponentially in just a few months. And we never expected BLISS to have so many aspiring volunteers this early in our history! As we transitioned into a larger cause that encompassed more schools, an alumni body, an original publication, and an outreach program, we figured that we needed to establish specific roles across all of our schools for these initiatives - to gain a more diverse set of viewpoints, provide efficacy, and enrich as many experiences as possible.

For the 2020-2021 year, BLISS introduces three bodies of leadership: The BLISS Board, The BLISS Outreach Committee, and The BLISS Alumni Advising Committee.