A New York native, Steve Berlack graduated from prestigious Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, excelling in social studies and history. Steve was awarded a full scholarship through “A Better Chance” -- a scholarship program established by President John F. Kennedy. A charismatic and socially conscious youth, he was elected Vice President of the Afro Latino American Society (AfLatAm) in his senior year.
Joining the Armed Forces after graduation, Berlack grew his talents further in the Intelligence Branch of the US Army. Attaining the rank of Sergeant while stationed in Oahu, Hawaii, he attended military specialty schools and received several honors and medals. His exposure to new heights of cultural diversity, socio-economic issues and political influences on a global level staged the foundation for his lifelong commitment to social justice, community education, and political awareness.
Returning to New York after completion of his tour, Steve became an advocate for misdemeanor defendants in the New York City Court System through the Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES). In the courtroom, Steve’s recommendations to judges and attorneys helped to provide opportunities for defendants to address the root causes of their behavior in lieu of incarceration.
National recognition for Steve Berlack came through his display of leadership in the STRIVE program, a behavioral modification boot camp and life skills training program which was highlighted on 60 Minutes, in Ebony Man magazine, and in the City Journal. The success of STRIVE was attributed to its 3-week intensive training which included self-awareness training, conflict negotiation, navigating difficult situations, and acknowledging personal accountability, which resulted in a 80% job placement rate. Berlack was a chief contributor to the development of the original STRIVE training curriculum, and also led the program to grow 300% during his four-year term as Executive Director of the Boston affiliate office.
In the media industry Steve was a host of BET Tonight, a show previously hosted by both Ed Gordon and Tavis Smiley, featuring roundtable discussions with personalities in entertainment, politics, and health, and focusing on issues that directly impacted the African-American community. Celebrities featured on the show during his tenure included Morris Chestnut, Vivica A. Fox and Doug Banks. Steve was also cast as the host of his own Disney-produced talk show, The Berlack Project.
An avid lover of history and culture, Steve participated in the 54th session of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Minority Rights at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. A Fulbright scholar, he also studied Andean and Afro-Peruvian history and culture in Peru and demonstrated the fruits of his overseas experiences while an educator and administrator in the Baltimore City Public School System.
Today, Steve is President and Founder of The Berlack Method, LLC in Baltimore, MD., offering workshops and training for companies, organizations, colleges and universities, small groups, and community symposiums. Steve’s life skills training curriculum has been used to enhance: organizational development, workforce readiness, teambuilding, leadership skills, youth development, fatherhood and parenting, conflict resolution and self-awareness. Steve’s signature presentation, The Tapestry: Exploring our Connections and Responsibilities, examines the spiritual nature of life skills training.
Berlack holds a Master’s Degree in Teaching from Morgan State University. His undergraduate degree in History was earned at The City College of New York, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude, and where he received the Cromwell Award, presented annually to the graduate with the highest GPA in the History Department.
He is an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., and has served on the Board of Codman Square Main Street and on the Board of Overseers of the Financial Services Academy/New England College of Finance.