Driven by strategically giving… and empowering young people to do the same.
In 2005, After a very successful career in business consulting, Dave Aldrich set his sights on teaching high school students the true meaning of philanthropy, not writing checks, but unconditional giving of oneself. He built Grab The Torch (GTT) on a basic mantra: ‘Give to give, not to get.’
He began with a series of pilot programs which lead to the launch of GTT in 2009 at Pomfret School. He expanded to The Fountain Valley School, Colorado Springs CO in 2010. He lead programs in CT, MA, MD, MN, RI, VT and ME. GTT began as co-ed, and transitioned to all girls in 2014. He moved to University of Denver in 2015.
He was introduced to Horace Mann School in New York City in 2016, which lead to a strategic partnership and operations on the Horace Mann campus in 2018. He attributes the success of GTT exclusively on surrounding the program with the best educators in their respective fields, delivering the most renowned business, social enterprise, non-profit and service learning individuals to the girls. As the world rapidly changes, Dave has changed the program, adapted and continues to provide the best possible experiences available.
It’s a very simple concept, but a powerful reframe. Everyone keeps saying you have to pass the torch to next generation. That is not how it should be done. We shouldn’t pass something to anyone. A person should physically grab a concept versus having it handed it to him or her. I am very much an opportunity-thinking guy, who is 150 percent convinced that an entitlement mentality is ruining our country. You have to put time, effort and energy into improving yourself, which becomes more meaningful. GRABBING THE TORCH is a much more meaningful and impactful action versus having something just handed to you. You gain a higher level of engagement and ownership with those actions.