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Making a Difference: Rishi Dixit, BSOL '15

Rishi Dixit, BSOL '15Alumnus Rishi Dixit, BSOL ’15, is making a difference in the community. Rishi and his lifelong friend and spouse, Preeti combined their passion and launched LeaderKid Academy a 501(c)(3) non-profit leadership, social-emotional, & Future Skills training/mentoring organization for Kids.

Rishi studied business and fashion during college, and Preeti studied psychology. They leveraged his organizational leadership experience and knowledge gained from his BSOL (Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership) degree at TESU (Thomas Edison State University) and created the "Persona Model" based curriculum for LeaderKid Academy.

Rishi and Preeti are from New Delhi, India and lived in Nepal for five years before immigrating to the U.S.

Rishi’s story in his own words:

“I studied business decades ago and have since spent years working with senior leaders; successfully managing large and complex programs for Fortune 100 organizations. As I engaged with leaders and individuals across the globe, I realized that when it comes to organizational competencies and soft skill competencies, there is a huge gap. This sparked the idea of launching a leadership training organization. And this is where my academic journey began.

I began searching for an educational organization that was flexible enough to support my very busy work and even crazier personal schedule. I conducted a lot of research and found TESU. The curriculum for the Organizational Leadership degree aligned perfectly with what I wanted to learn: theories of leadership, managerial communications, project management, organizational psychology, and change management.

Preeti and I also realized that having children of our own had filled us with an insane sense of responsibility. My education from TESU empowered me to lean on the theories and research of various developmental psychologists. These theories compelled that the maximum and lasting impact of learning and personality development occurs between the ages of 4 and 13. Preeti and I realized that carving out time to embed leadership and future skills and competencies in our kids was a huge challenge. As we looked around for help, we quickly realized that there was something else that was wrong with the picture:

  • Our education system today is mainly focused on academics and standardized testing.
  • Parents and educators are either not sufficiently equipped or are unable to devote exclusive time to helping children develop critical leadership skills.

To find some answers, we dug deeper. And apparently, everyone in the world had something to say. However, we could not find anything that was cohesive, commonsensical framework that provided a balanced view. After much thought and conversations with other educators and organizational leaders, Preeti and I founded LeaderKid Academy to help educators come together to empower children and youth through mentoring and advocacy.

At LeaderKid Academy we believe that developing a high sense of confidence, empathy, positive mindset and integrity, in our children will allow them to lead with passion. They can be change leaders who ‘create a better tomorrow for all.’

We are excited that after many years of pondering and research, our passion for children is taking shape in the form of real actionable change.

Preeti and I fully recognize that we have had missed opportunities with own children. However, with our endeavor (and a book in works), we hope to make a difference in the lives of other children, parents and educators. We truly hope that we can help children all over the globe to ‘unleash the leader’ in them and make this world a better place.

Through my engagement at TESU, I found new connections who helped make LeaderKid Academy a reality. My TESU mentor, Dr. Diane Hamilton, is now a board member with LeaderKid Academy. I also love volunteering with TESU. I enjoy sharing what I experienced in my learning path to encourage others to pursue their passion. And, I truly believe that TESU allowed me to use my knowledge and empowered me as a leader. Being an Alumni Ambassador who can nurture more leaders is what brings me back to stay engaged with TESU again and again.”

Rishi has been an Alumni Ambassador since 2015 and has been a donor and a volunteer for TESU for various occasions throughout the years, including Open Houses and the 2019 Golf Outing. You can learn more about his organization at