Effort aims to expand character education to college level
WASHINGTON, June 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Character Education Partnership is teaming up with the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) to launch a new mentoring and leadership training program for teenagers. The nonprofit hopes it will soon be able to offer the character camps to other colleges and universities.
The inaugural "Leaders of Character Camp" will be held June 10-15, at the USAFA campus in Colorado Springs, CO. Under the supervision of professors and staff, a trained team of current cadets will serve as mentors and character coaches for 16 local high school sophomores and juniors who have been recommend by the leaders of their schools from across Colorado.
Over the course of the week, the students will stay in the cadet dormitories and attend sessions led by college students trained for this purpose and hear from motivational speakers. Along with their cadet mentors, they will participate in team-building and role-playing exercises that focus on a wide range of topics, from rational decision-making and conflict resolution to differentiating right from wrong and developing habits of ethical living.
"We're very excited to add this new chapter to our story," said Mark Hyatt, CEP President and CEO. "For nearly 20 years, we have focused on helping K-12 schools implement these vital programs. But the character development journey does not end with a high school diploma."
On the contrary, the college years often serve as a crucial period during which students, often living away from their parents for the first time, must refine their morals and values on the fly and put them to the test in the real world. For this reason, institutions of higher education are in a unique position to foster a deeper commitment to ethical behavior. The camps will engage college students in the leadership and character development of younger students and train them in the principles of mentoring.
"By pairing each high school student with a trained college mentor relatively close in age, the camps will make character-related concepts more accessible and relevant to teenagers," Hyatt said. "At the same time, the camps will also demonstrate first-hand to the college students how their position as role models requires them to continuously develop and refine their own core values."
By providing both populations with the opportunity to work closely under the auspices of renowned experts in leadership and character development, the camps will inspire all students involved to take ownership of their identity as leaders of character and to dedicate themselves to honesty, respect, responsibility, and integrity in all areas of life.
CEP will capture its own lessons learned from this prototype, weeklong camp. Several colleges are sending representatives to observe this first model and will work with CEP to develop their own camps in subsequent years.
Making this first camp a reality has been a collaborative effort and CEP is indebted to several generous institutions and members for their support. In particular, San Francisco-based S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation deserves special mention and the Air Force Academy, without which this camp simply would not have been possible.
About Character Education Partnership
The Character Education Partnership, based in Washington, D.C., is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to helping schools develop people of good character for a just and compassionate society. CEP is the nation's leading advocate for quality character education initiatives. To learn more about CEP and the National and State Schools of Character, visit www.character.org.
SOURCE Character Education Partnership